Let's Compare Cilia and Flagella


A cilium (Latin for eyelash; the plural is cilia) is an organelle found in eukaryotic cells. Cilia are slender protuberances that project from the much larger cell body.

cilium n 1: a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms 2: any of the short curved hairs that grow from the edges of the eyelids [syn: {eyelash}, {lash}] [also: {cilia} (pl)]

cilia See {cilium}

26 Moby Thesaurus words for "cilia": Golgi apparatus, aster, basal body, cell membrane, central apparatus, central body, centriole, centroplasm, centrosome, centrosphere, chloroplast, chromoplast, cytocentrum, flagella, kinoplasm, microbody, microcentrum, mitochondrion, pili, plasmodesmata, plastid, plastosome, ribosome, spherosome, spindle fibers, vacuole

Cilia \Cil"i*a\, n. pl. {Cilium}, the sing., is rarely used. [L. cilium eyelid.] 1. (Anat.) The eyelashes. [1913 Webster] 2. (Biol.) Small, generally microscopic, vibrating appendages lining certain organs, as the air passages of the higher animals, and in the lower animals often covering also the whole or a part of the exterior. They are also found on some vegetable organisms. In the Infusoria, and many larval forms, they are locomotive organs. [1913 Webster] 3. (Bot.) Hairlike processes, commonly marginal and forming a fringe like the eyelash. [1913 Webster] 4. (Zo["o]l.) Small, vibratory, swimming organs, somewhat resembling true cilia, as those of Ctenophora. [1913 Webster]


A flagellum (; plural: flagella) is a lash-like appendage that protrudes from the cell body of certain prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

flagella See {flagellum}

flagellum n 1: a whip used to inflict punishment (often used for pedantic humor) [syn: {scourge}] 2: a lash-like appendage used for locomotion (e.g., in sperm cells and some bacteria and protozoa) [also: {flagella} (pl)]

Flagellum \Fla*gel"lum\, n.; pl. E. {Flagellums}, L. {Flagella}. [L., a whip. See {Flagellate}, v. t.] 1. (Bot.) A young, flexible shoot of a plant; esp., the long trailing branch of a vine, or a slender branch in certain mosses. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo["o]l.) (a) A long, whiplike cilium. See {Flagellata}. (b) An appendage of the reproductive apparatus of the snail. (c) A lashlike appendage of a crustacean, esp. the terminal ortion of the antenn[ae] and the epipodite of the maxilipeds. See {Maxilliped}. [1913 Webster]

Data Sources:

  • cilia: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • cilia: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • cilia: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • cilia: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • flagella: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • flagella: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • flagella: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44

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Your Comparisons - Cilia And Flagella