nematocyst

[nem-uh-tuh-sist, ni-mat-uh-]
noun Zoology.
an organ in coelenterates consisting of a minute capsule containing an ejectable thread that causes a sting.

Origin:
1870–75; nemato- + -cyst

nematocystic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
nematocyst (ˈnɛmətəˌsɪst, nɪˈmætə-)
 
n
a structure in coelenterates, such as jellyfish, consisting of a capsule containing a hollow coiled thread that can be everted to sting or paralyse prey and enemies
 
nemato'cystic
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nematocyst nem·a·to·cyst (něm'ə-tə-sĭst', nə-māt'ə-)
n.
A capsule within specialized cells of certain coelenterates containing a barbed, threadlike tube that delivers a paralyzing sting.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
nematocyst   (něm'ə-tə-sĭst', nĭ-māt'ə-sĭst')  Pronunciation Key 
One of the minute capsules in the tentacles of cnidarians, such as jellyfish, hydras, or sea anemones, used for stinging. The capsule is produced by a special cell (called a cnidoblast) and contains a tightly coiled barbed thread that quickly shoots forth if the capsule's lid is disturbed. The thread often contains poison.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

nematocyst

minute, elongated or spherical capsule that is found chiefly in members of the phylum Cnidaria (e.g., jellyfish, corals, sea anemones). The capsule, which occurs on the body surface, is produced by a special cell called a cnidoblast and contains a coiled, hollow, usually barbed thread, which quickly turns outward (i.e., is everted) from the capsule upon proper stimulation. The purpose of the thread, which often contains poison, is to ward off enemies or to capture prey.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Each nematocyst contains a trigger and a venomous barb, similar to a hypodermic needle.
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