One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A stiff hair-like or bristle-like structure, especially in an invertebrate.
hair, whiskerView synonyms
- ‘Inside their gill chambers are mats and hair-like setae covered in bacteria.’
- ‘Spiders, however, have a different adhesive structure at the tip of each leg, formed from a dense aggregation of miniature hairs called setae.’
- ‘Each feeding leg, split into two branches, carries stiff bristles and feathery setae.’
- ‘Ice worms propel themselves using setae, extremely small bristles that protrude from the sides of their bodies.’
- ‘This will take place in a coordinated fashion across fields of setae, thus resulting in a staged detachment process and allowing for controlled weight transference during the locomotor cycle.’
- 1.1Botany (in a moss or liverwort) the stalk supporting the capsule.
stem, shoot, trunk, stock, cane, bine, bent, haulm, straw, reedView synonyms
- ‘Similarly, setae may be simple stalks with single spatulate tips, or they may be sparsely or profusely branched.’
- ‘Only the youngest sporophytes with unelongated setae were used.’
Late 18th century: from Latin, ‘bristle’.
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