Definitions for flagellumfləˈdʒɛl əm; -ˈdʒɛl ə
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
fla•gel•lumfləˈdʒɛl əm; -ˈdʒɛl ə(n.)(pl.)-gel•la; -gel•lums.
Biol. a long lashlike appendage serving as an organ of locomotion in protozoa, sperm cells, etc.
Category: Cell Biology
Bot. a runner.
the upper portion of the antenna of an insect.
a whip or lash.
Origin of flagellum:
1800–10; < L: whip
a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)
a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa)
In protists, a long, whiplike membrane-enclosed organelle used for locomotion or feeding.
In bacteria, a long, whiplike proteinaceous appendage, used for locomotion.
Origin: From flagellum.
a young, flexible shoot of a plant; esp., the long trailing branch of a vine, or a slender branch in certain mosses
a long, whiplike cilium. See Flagellata
an appendage of the reproductive apparatus of the snail
a lashlike appendage of a crustacean, esp. the terminal ortion of the antennae and the epipodite of the maxilipeds. See Maxilliped
Flagellum is a lash-like appendage that protrudes from the cell body of certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The word flagellum in Latin means whip. The canonical role of the flagellum is locomotion but it also often has function as a sensory organelle, being sensitive to chemicals and temperatures outside the cell. Flagella are organelles defined by function rather than structure. There are large differences between different types of flagellum; the prokaryotic and eukaryotic flagella differ greatly in protein composition, structure, and mechanism of propulsion, however both are used for swimming. An example of a flagellate bacterium is the ulcer-causing Helicobacter pylori, which uses multiple flagella to propel itself through the mucus lining to reach the stomach epithelium. An example of a eukaryotic flagellate cell is the mammalian sperm cell, which uses its flagellum to propel itself through the female reproductive tract. Eukaryotic flagella are structurally identical to eukaryotic cilia, although distinctions are sometimes made according to function and/or length.
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