Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Word of the day: sessile

The word of the day is sessile:

sessile, adj.

Etymology:  < Latin sessilis sitting down, dwarfed, stunted, < sess- , participial stem of sedēre to sit  

1. Having no footstalk. 
a. Bot. Of leaves, fruits, flowers, or other organs: Immediately attached by the base; not having a peduncle, pedicel, or the like. Hence of a species or variety (e.g. of oak) bearing sessile fruits: opposed to pedunculated. 
b. Zool. Of limbs or organs: Immediately in contact with the structure to which they are attached; having no connecting neck or footstalk. Also of certain animals.c. Pathol. Of morbid growths, warts, etc.: Adhering close to the surface.
2. Of certain animals: Sedentary, fixed to one spot; not ambulatory. Of cells: Immobile. Also in extended use. 
3. Crystallogr. Of a dislocation in a crystal: unable to migrate through the lattice; fixed. (OED)

"This is ridiculous!  Hive queens are supposed to be sessile!"

 - Tarvek, Girl Genius volume 12, page 103, Phil and Kaja Foglio

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