Header image of wall of bricks Open menu Close menu


Also ‑coele and ‑cele.

A body cavity.

Greek koilos, hollow or cavity.

Words in these endings are technical terms in zoology that are related to coelom (Greek koiloma, cavity) (US sometimes celom), the principal body cavity in most animals.

Examples include blastocoel (Greek blastos, sprout), the central cavity of a blastula, an animal embryo at the early stage of development when it is a hollow ball of cells; gastrocoel, another name for the archenteron, the rudimentary alimentary cavity of an embryo; enterocoel (Greek enteron, intestine), a body cavity in some invertebrates, which has developed from the wall of the archenteron; pseudocoel (Greek pseudes, false), a body cavity which is not part of the true coelom.

Less commonly, such terms appear with a final e: blastocoele, enterocoele, though the spelling without the final e is now standard. The spelling ‑cele also occurs, though this is easily confused with words from a different Greek root (see ‑cele), a confusion that is accentuated by relative closeness of meaning.

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Your comments are very welcome.