noun, plural o·per·cu·la [oh-pur-kyuh-luh] /oʊˈpɜr kyə lə/, o·per·cu·lums.

  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.

noun plural -la (-lə) or -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 the bony plate in certain gastropods covering the opening of the shell when the body is withdrawn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

n.1713, from Latin operculum “cover, lid,” from operire “to cover, close” (see weir), with instrumental suffix *-tlom. Related: Opercular. n. pl. o•per•cu•lums

  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.

Plural opercula operculums

  1. 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.

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