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One of the minute, hooked projections extending from and interlocking the barbules of a feather.

[New Latin barbicella, diminutive of Latin barba, beard; see bhardh-ā- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Zoology) ornithol any of the minute hooks on the barbules of feathers that interlock with those of adjacent barbules
[C19: from New Latin barbicella, literally: a small beard, from Latin barba beard]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈbɑr bəˌsɛl)

any of the hooklets that fringe the barbules of a feather and hold them together.
[1865–70; < New Latin barbicella= Latin barbi- (comb. form of barba beard) + -cella diminutive suffix]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In succeeding generations of animals, these barbs evolved smaller structures, called barbules and barbicels, that hook neighboring barbs together.