One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(chiefly of insects or seeds) having wings or winglike appendages.
- ‘Ventral valve most strongly convex posteriorly, ventral deflection beginning at about 6 mm from beak, becoming slightly alate, but not preserved on anterior portion of valve.’
- ‘Note that valve diameters do not include the alate longitudinal ridges.’
- ‘Adult shells of both C. syringothyriformis and species of Regelia are large with alate cardinal extremities and large nearly catacline ventral interareas.’
- ‘Medium-sized, alate, subequally biconvex shells with deflected anterior margins in later growth stages.’
- ‘Some possess wide ‘wings,’ or alate lamellae, while in other species the lamellae fold into delicate spines.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin alatus, from ala ‘wing’.
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