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Definition of "elater" [e•lat•er•el•a•ter]

  • An elaterid beetle. (noun)
  • Botany A tiny elongated structure that forces the dispersal of spores by the absorption of moisture. It is either a band attached to the spore, as in horsetails, or a filament occurring among the spores, as in liverworts. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "elater" in a sentence
  • "I amused myself one day by observing the springing powers of this insect, which have not, as it appears to me, been properly described. 15 The elater, when placed on its back and preparing to spring, moved its head and thorax backwards, so that the pectoral spine was drawn out, and rested on the edge of its sheath."
  • "When we were at Bahia, an elater or beetle (Pyrophorus luminosus, Illig.) seemed the most common luminous insect."
  • "Persons viciously inclined, want no wheels to make them actively vicious; as having the elater and spring of their own natures to facilitate their iniquities."