Definition of labellum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ləˈbɛləm/

noun (plural labella /ləˈbɛlə/)

1 Entomology Each of a pair of lobes at the tip of the proboscis in some insects.
2 Botany A central petal at the base of an orchid flower, typically larger than the other petals and of a different shape.
Example sentences
  • If insects smaller than the pollinator become trapped they may crawl out without pollination occurring or, if larger than the pollinator, they may stay trapped until the labellum opens again.
  • In attempting unsuccessfully to couple with the labellum the male pushes its head forward below the overhanging column.
  • The males then try to mate with the labellum or else lift it as they would a female wasp.


Early 19th century: from Latin, diminutive of labrum 'lip'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: la¦bel|lum

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