from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various ciliate protozoans of the genus Vorticella, having a bell-shaped body and living underwater on a slender stalk often attached to a plant or other object.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Any one of numerous species of ciliated Infusoria belonging to Vorticella and many other genera of the family Vorticellidæ. They have a more or less bell-shaped body with a circle of vibrating cilia around the oral disk. Most of the species have slender, contractile stems, either simple or branched.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The typical genus of Vorticellidæ, having a retractile pedicel; the bellanimalcules.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any of various protozoa having a transparent goblet-shaped body with a retractile stalk
New Latin Vorticella, genus name, from Latin vortex, vortic-, vortex; see vortex.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)