nounpl. -·la or -·lums
- Biol. a whiplike part or process of some cells, esp. of certain bacteria, protozoans, etc., that is an organ of locomotion or that produces a current in the surrounding fluid
- Bot. a threadlike shoot or runner
- Zool. the terminal, lashlike portion of the antenna in many insects
Origin of flagellumL, a whip: see flagellate
- A long, whiplike appendage that functions as a cellular organ of locomotion, found in certain bacteria, protozoans, and specialized eukaryotic cells such as motile sperm.
- A small whip; a scourge.
Origin of flagellumLatin diminutive of flagrum whip
(plural flagella or flagellums)