One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Treated as plural. An order, class, or subphylum comprising the ciliate protozoans; (also ciliata) protozoans of this group (collectively or individually); ciliates.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Annals and Magazine of Natural History. From scientific Latin Ciliata, group name from post-classical Latin ciliatus + -a.
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