"thread cell, lasso cell," such as the stinging organs of jellyfish, 1875, from nemato- + cyst. Related: Nematocystic.
combining form in scientific words, from Greek nēma "thread" (genitive nēmatos), from stem of nein "to spin," from PIE root *(s)ne- "to sew, to spin" (see needle (n.)).
"bladder-like bag or vesicle in an animal body," 1713, from Modern Latin cystis (in English as a Latin word from 1540s), from Greek kystis "bladder, pouch," which is of uncertain etymology.
updated on May 19, 2019