One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Zoology. Of a ciliate: having the cilia confined to a spiral band around the oral opening; belonging to the subclass or order Peritricha.
2Bacteriology. Of a bacterium: having flagella over the whole body surface.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Huxley (1825–1895), biologist and science educationist. From peri- + -trichous. In sense 1 after scientific Latin Peritricha (F. Stein Organismus der Infusionsthiere I. 72; also German peritrich, adjective).
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