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nematocyst

[nem-uh-tuh-sist, ni-mat-uh-] /ˈnɛm ə təˌsɪst, nɪˈmæt ə-/
noun, Zoology
1.
an organ in coelenterates consisting of a minute capsule containing an ejectable thread that causes a sting.
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75; nemato- + -cyst
Related forms
nematocystic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for nematocyst
  • Each nematocyst contains a trigger and a venomous barb, similar to a hypodermic needle.
British Dictionary definitions for nematocyst

nematocyst

/ˈnɛmətəˌsɪst; nɪˈmætə-/
noun
1.
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
Derived Forms
nematocystic, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nematocyst
n.

1875, from nemato-, comb. form of Greek nema, nematos "thread" (genitive nematos), from stem of nein "to spin" (see needle (n.)) + cyst.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nematocyst in Medicine

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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nematocyst in Science
nematocyst
  (něm'ə-tə-sĭst', nĭ-māt'ə-sĭst')   
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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for nematocyst

cnida

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.

Learn more about cnida with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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