Definition of frustule in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrəsˌCHo͞ol/


The silicified cell wall of a diatom, consisting of two valves or overlapping halves.
Example sentences
  • Observe the diatom frustule below at right, in which the two halves have been pushed slightly askew.
  • Bacteria accelerate silica dissolution in the sea by colonizing and enzymatically degrading the organic matrix of diatom frustules.
  • Like its brethren, it is encased by a frustule, a rigid cell wall delicately marked with pores in patterns distinctive enough for scientists to tell the species apart.


Mid 19th century: from Latin frustulum, diminutive of frustum (see frustum).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: frus·tule

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