la·​bel·​lum lə-ˈbe-ləm How to pronounce labellum (audio)
plural labella lə-ˈbe-lə How to pronounce labellum (audio)
: the median and usually most morphologically distinct member of the corolla of an orchid
: a terminal part of the labium or labrum of various insects

Examples of labellum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Consider, for instance, the Paphiopedilum, or slipper orchid, so named for the shoe-like appendage, called a labellum, into which pollinating insects crawl. Chloe Schama, Vogue, 17 Feb. 2023 The sepals, which are pink, petal-like extensions of the flower, look like wings while the lip (or labellum) mimics the body of a bee. Patricia Shannon, Southern Living, 30 Apr. 2020 The slipper orchids had brightly colored labellum surrounded by two massive petals and were about the size of a hand, fairly large for an orchid. Katy Kelleher, Longreads, 9 Oct. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'labellum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, diminutive of labrum lip — more at lip

First Known Use

1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of labellum was in 1810

Dictionary Entries Near labellum

Cite this Entry

“Labellum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

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