flagellum

A flagellum is part of a cell, a sort of thread that helps the cell move around by moving like a whip. Bacteria are among the cells that can have flagella.

In a bacterial cell, a flagellum twists in a circle like a screw, while in a eukaryote (a plant or animal cell), the flagellum moves in more of an S motion. These long, lash-like appendages propel cells forward, but they also help them sense temperature changes and the presence of certain chemicals. In Latin, flagellum means "whip," from a Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to strike."

Primary Meanings of flagellum

1.
n
a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa)
2.
n
a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)
Full Definitions of flagellum
1

n a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa)

Type of:
appendage, outgrowth, process
a natural prolongation or projection from a part of an organism either animal or plant
2

n a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)

Synonyms:
scourge
Type of:
whip
an instrument with a handle and a flexible lash that is used for whipping

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