• WordNet 3.6
    • n vorticella any of various protozoa having a transparent goblet-shaped body with a retractile stalk
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Vorticella (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of ciliated Infusoria belonging to Vorticella and many other genera of the family Vorticellidæ. They have a more or less bell-shaped body with a circle of vibrating cilia around the oral disk. Most of the species have slender, contractile stems, either simple or branched.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n vorticella The typical genus of Vorticellidæ, having a retractile pedicel; the bellanimalcules. Many species are colonial inhabitants of both salt and fresh water; they are very numerous, and among the most elegant animalcules, like tiny transparent wine- glasses or bells borne on fine elastic stems, and continually waving about in the most graceful maimer, “as if they were ringing chimes for Undines to dance.” V. convallaria was described by Leeuwenhoek in 1675 as an “animalcule of the first size,” and called by Linnæus Hydra convallaria in 1758. It occurs in stagnant water and in infusions. See also cut under Infusoria.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Vorticella vor-ti-sel′a a genus of ciliated Infusorians belonging to the order Peritricha, in which the cilia are restricted to a fringe round the mouth.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., dim. fr. L. vortex,. See Vortex
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
From L. vortex, a whirl.


In literature:

Not so the authoress of 'The Channel Islands:' Vorticella and Shakspere were allowed to be faultless.
"Impressions of Theophrastus Such" by George Eliot
Eighteen years ago I was paying much attention to vorticellae.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 643, April 28, 1888" by Various
Then there are two amoebae or vorticellae.
"Certain Personal Matters" by H. G. Wells
People who study the animalcules are very fond of this Vorticella.
"School Reading by Grades" by James Baldwin
The mouths resembled those of Vorticellae, and put forth circles of vibrating cilia.
"Marvels of Pond-life" by Henry J. Slack
The tree-vorticellas must ever stand first among all the varied and beautiful objects which the microscope reveals.
"Through a Microscope" by Samuel Wells