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operculum

[oh-pur-kyuh-luh m] /oʊˈpɜr kyə ləm/
noun, plural opercula
[oh-pur-kyuh-luh] /oʊˈpɜr kyə lə/ (Show IPA),
operculums.
1.
Botany, Zoology. a part or organ serving as a lid or cover, as a covering flap on a seed vessel.
2.
Zoology.
  1. the gill cover of fishes and amphibians.
  2. (in many gastropods) a horny plate that closes the opening of the shell when the animal is retracted.
Origin
1705-1715
1705-15; < Neo-Latin, Latin: lid, cover, equivalent to oper(īre) to cover + -culum -cule2
Related forms
opercular, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for operculum
  • Lampreys and sharks lack an operculum, they have multiple gill openings.
British Dictionary definitions for operculum

operculum

/əʊˈpɜːkjʊləm/
noun (pl) -la (-lə), -lums
1.
(zoology)
  1. the hard bony flap covering the gill slits in fishes
  2. the bony plate in certain gastropods covering the opening of the shell when the body is withdrawn
2.
(botany) the covering of the spore-bearing capsule of a moss
3.
(biology) any other covering or lid in various organisms
Derived Forms
opercular, operculate (əʊˈpɜːkjʊlɪt; -ˌleɪt) adjective
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin from Latin: lid, from operīre to cover
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 operculum
n.

1713, from Latin operculum "cover, lid," from operire "to cover, close" (see weir), with instrumental suffix *-tlom. Related: Opercular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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operculum in Medicine

operculum o·per·cu·lum (ō-pûr'kyə-ləm)
n. pl. o·per·cu·lums or o·per·cu·la (-lə)

  1. Something resembling a lid or cover.

  2. The portions of the frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes covering the insula.

  3. The mucus sealing the endocervical canal of the uterus after conception.

  4. The attached flap in cases of torn retinal detachment.

  5. The mucosal flap partially or completely covering an unerupted tooth.


o·per'cu·lar (-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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operculum in Science
operculum
  (ō-pûr'kyə-ləm)   
Plural opercula or operculums
A lid or flap covering an opening, such as the gill cover in some fish or the horny flap covering the opening of a snail.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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