fla·​gel·​lum | \flə-ˈje-ləm \
plural flagella\flə-​ˈje-​lə \ also flagellums

Definition of flagellum 

: any of various elongated filiform appendages of plants or animals: such as

a : the slender distal part of an antenna

b : a long tapering process that projects singly or in groups from a cell and is the primary organ of motion of many microorganisms

Examples of flagellum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The most well known is the amoeba, but these microbes come in several forms, including species that move with a single flagellum or with hairlike cilia. Adrian Higgins, idahostatesman, "The zoo beneath our feet: We’re only beginning to understand soil’s hidden world," 23 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flagellum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of flagellum

1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flagellum

New Latin, from Latin, whip, shoot of a plant

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Time Traveler for flagellum

The first known use of flagellum was in 1852

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More Definitions for flagellum


fla·​gel·​lum | \flə-ˈje-ləm \
plural flagella\-​ˈje-​lə \

Kids Definition of flagellum

: a structure resembling a whip that sticks out from a cell and by which some tiny organisms (as bacteria) move


fla·​gel·​lum | \flə-ˈjel-əm \
plural flagella\-​ə \ also flagellums

Medical Definition of flagellum 

: a long tapering process that projects singly or in groups from a cell and is the primary organ of motion of many microorganisms

More from Merriam-Webster on flagellum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flagellum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flagellum

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