nematocyst

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Formed as nemato- +‎ cyst after the French nématocyste.

Noun[edit]

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nematocyst (plural nematocysts)

  1. (biology) A capsule, in certain cnidarians, containing a barbed, threadlike tube that delivers a paralyzing sting
    • 1885, R. J. Harvey Gibson, “Observations on the nematocysts of Hydra fusca”, in Proceedings of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Liverpool[1], volume 39, page 30:
      Often one sees, on surface view, a distinctly rounded vacuole, occupying a position in the cell occupied in others by a large nematocyst.
    • 1902, Arthur Willey, Zoological Results Based on Material from New Britain, New Guinea, Loyalty Islands and Elsewhere[2], page 379:
      The young nematocyst decreases in size and becomes coarsely granular, the granules arranging themselves in a spiral line close under the external membrane.
    • 2014, Anthony K. Campbell, Intracellular Calcium[3], page 350:
      Nematocyst discharge is another example of the Rubicon principle – it either fires or it does not.

Synonyms[edit]