Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Biology A long, threadlike appendage, especially a whiplike extension of certain cells or unicellular organisms that functions as an organ of locomotion.
  • noun A small whip; a scourge.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In sporozoans, a vibratile male gamete in Halteridium, a blood-parasite found in birds.
  • In Rom. archæol., a scourge. The Roman scourges were made of leather thongs, several being attached to one handle, and sometimes of cord, to which metal rings were attached, or of wire twisted and eyed so as to form links, the instrument then consisting of many such links in strands of chain.
  • [NL.] In botany: A runner; a weak, creeping shoot sent out from the bottom of the stem, and rooting and forming new plants at the nodes, as in the strawberry
  • A twig or young shoot.
  • In certain Hepaticæ, a lashlike branch formed on the ventral surface of the stem, and bearing rudimentary leaves.
  • In biology, a long lash-like appendage to certain infusorians, bacteria, and protoplasmic reproductive bodies in cryptogams; a large cilium. By means of rapid vibration it serves as an organ of locomotion.
  • In entomology, the outer portion of a geniculate antenna, or of any antenna which has a long basal joint with shorter and regular joints beyond it. The basal joint is then called the scape, and the remainder of the organ is the flagellum. In Diptera and Nemocera it includes the whole antenna, exclusive of the two basal joints or scapes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Bot.) A young, flexible shoot of a plant; esp., the long trailing branch of a vine, or a slender branch in certain mosses.
  • noun A long, whiplike cilium. See Flagellata.
  • noun An appendage of the reproductive apparatus of the snail.
  • noun A lashlike appendage of a crustacean, esp. the terminal ortion of the antennæ and the epipodite of the maxilipeds. See Maxilliped.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology In protists, a long, whiplike membrane-enclosed organelle used for locomotion or feeding.
  • noun biology In bacteria, a long, whiplike proteinaceous appendage, used for locomotion.
  • noun A whip

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor)
  • noun a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, diminutive of flagrum, whip.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin flagellum ("whip").

Examples

  • Of course, the flagellum is a great illustration of this.

    A critique on the endosymbiotic theory for the origin of mitochondria

  • That would seem to fly in the face of all the claims that the evolution of the flagellum is a problem long since solved by biologists.

    Congratulations are in Order

  • The bacterial flagellum is an example of something that is incredibly complex.

    Behe

  • Behe's criticism of neo-Darwinian explanations for the evolution of things like the flagellum is essentially no different than Margulis's.

    Behe and Gene discuss the Evolution of the Flagellum

  • The bacterial flagellum is an example of something that is incredibly complex.

    Behe

  • I envisage the designer as a giant invisible jellyfish in the sky, with tentacles all over the planet sprinkling thiotimoline wherever and whenever a new design like, say a bacterial flagellum is required.

    Another Look

  • Behe's criticism of neo-Darwinian explanations for the evolution of things like the flagellum is essentially no different than Margulis's.

    Behe and Gene discuss the Evolution of the Flagellum

  • I think the evolution of the bacterial flagellum is far too improbable to happen without deliberate fine-tuning of the events that lead up to it, even though most of the flagellar components have precursor homologues.

    Behe and Gene discuss the Evolution of the Flagellum

  • That's why the flagellum is it's poster boy, it looks like a machine designed by a human.

    Critical Thinking Exercise

  • I envisage the designer as a giant invisible jellyfish in the sky, with tentacles all over the planet sprinkling thiotimoline wherever and whenever a new design like, say a bacterial flagellum is required.

    Another Look

Comments

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  • Also the cellular appendage used by some cells to propel themselves through fluid media.

    February 7, 2008