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Nematocyst


/ˈnemətəˌsist/  /niˈmatə-/

Noun, pl. nematocysts

1. (Biology) A capsule, in certain cnidarians, containing a barbed, threadlike tube that delivers a paralyzing sting. (wiktionary.org)

2. One of the minute stinging organelles of various coelenterates. (biology-online.org)

3. A specialized cell in the tentacles of a jellyfish or other coelenterate, containing a barbed or venomous coiled thread that can be projected in self-defense or to capture prey. (Google Dictionary)

Syn: Stinging cell.

Word origin: From nemato-, comb. form of Greek nema, nematos “thread” (genitive nematos), from stem of nein “to spin.”


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