Definition of peritrichous in US English:



  • 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).