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nematocyst

Pronunciation: nem'a-to-sist

Definition: A stinging cell of coelenterates consisting of a poison sac and a coiled barbed sting capable of being ejected and penetrating the skin of an animal on contact; of considerable consequence in large jellyfish and in the Portuguese man-of-war which possess large numbers of these stinging cells that can cause great pain and even death.

Synonym(s): cnida, cnidocyst

[nemato- + G. kystis, bladder]

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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