flagellum

noun
fla·​gel·​lum | \ flə-ˈje-ləm How to pronounce flagellum (audio) \
plural flagella\ flə-​ˈje-​lə How to pronounce flagellum (audio) \ 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 Microscopic examinations revealed the spore surface is lined with rows of proteins called rodlins that may grab a passing flagellum—working much like Velcro. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "This microscopic hitchhiker is a friend to both plants and humans," 22 Mar. 2021 These organisms use a long, tail-like structure called a flagellum to move about. Scientific American, "Nanomachines, Jellyfish Hugs and Hurricane Dorian From Space: The Week's Best Science GIFs," 30 Aug. 2019 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.

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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

Time Traveler

The first known use of flagellum was in 1852

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Statistics for flagellum

Last Updated

25 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flagellum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flagellum. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for flagellum

flagellum

noun
fla·​gel·​lum | \ flə-ˈje-ləm How to pronounce flagellum (audio) \
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

flagellum

noun
fla·​gel·​lum | \ flə-ˈjel-əm How to pronounce flagellum (audio) \
plural flagella\ -​ə How to pronounce flagellum (audio) \ 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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flagellum

Comments on flagellum

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