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fluke

fluke, parasitic flatworm of the trematoda class, related to the tapeworm. Instead of the cilia, external sense organs, and epidermis of the free-living flatworms, adult flukes have sucking disks with which they cling to their hosts and an external cuticle that resists digestion by the host. In most species the adult worms absorb nutriment through the digestive system; in a few whose digestive system is reduced or completely absent, food is absorbed through the cuticle. Adult flukes are commonly hermaphroditic, that is, each individual possesses both male and female reproductive organs; however, they reproduce sexually. One worm may produce over 500,000 embryos. Species of the order Monogenea are external parasites on the skin and gills of fish; their simple life cycle is completed in a single host. The order Digenea includes the internal parasites, many of which have complicated life cycles, the various asexual stages living in mollusks and the sexual stages invading the internal organs of vertebrates; more than 35 species are known to inhabit humans. The human liver fluke, Clonorchis sinensis, has a life cycle that requires two intermediate hosts, snails and fish. The eggs pass out of humans via the feces. They survive if they are deposited in water and eaten by snails. The larvae invade the soft tissues of the snail from the digestive tract where they pass through several stages and reproduce asexually; they emerge from the snail as free-swimming larvae. If they manage to encounter fish, they penetrate into the flesh and encyst; if the raw fish is eaten by humans, the young flukes are released in the intestines. They then crawl up the bile duct, attach by their suckers, mature, reproduce sexually, and begin to shed eggs. In addition to the infestation of the liver by Clonorchis, which is prevalent in East Asia, many other disorders are caused by flukes. The Asian and African blood fluke disease, schistosomiasis, is caused by adults of the genus Schistosoma that burrow into the skin of humans and animals and lodge in the blood vessels. Lung flukes, common in East Asia, infest uncooked crab meat and encapsulate as adults in the lungs of humans. Liver rot, fatal to sheep and other herbivorous animals, is caused by a liver fluke, Fasciola hepatica, whose larvae encyst in grasses after leaving the snail host. A species of fluke prevalent in lakes of the N central United States causes a rash called "swimmer's itch." The name fluke is also applied to species of flatfish. Flukes are classified in the phylum Platyhelminthes, class Trematoda.

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fluke

fluke1 / floōk/ • n. unlikely chance occurrence, esp. a surprising piece of luck: their triumph was no fluke. fluke2 • n. 1. a parasitic flatworm (classes Trematoda and Monogenea, phylum Platyhelminthes) that typically has suckers and hooks for attachment to the host. 2. a flatfish, esp. a flounder. fluke3 • n. a broad triangular plate on the arm of an anchor. ∎  either of the lobes of a whale's tail.

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fluke

fluke Flatworm, an external or internal parasite of animals. Flukes have suckers for attachment to the host. Human infection can result from eating uncooked food containing encysted larvae, or from penetration of the skin by larvae in infected waters. The worms enter various body organs, such as the liver, lungs and intestines, causing oedema (swelling) and decreased function. Phylum Platyhelminthes, class Trematoda.

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fluke

fluke (flook) n. any of the parasitic flatworms that belong to the group Trematoda. Adult flukes are parasites of humans, occurring in the liver (see Fasciola), lungs (see paragonimiasis), gut (see heterophyiasis), and blood vessels (see Schistosoma) and often cause serious disease.

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fluke

fluke1 flat fish, esp. flounder OE.; parasitic worm resembling this XVII. OE. flōc, corr. to ON. flóki, rel. to MLG., MDu. flac, OHG. flah (G. flach) flat; ult. IE. *plaq-, further repr. by Gr. plakoûs, L. placenta flat cake.

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fluke

fluke2 traingular plate on either arm of an anchor XVI; triangular extremity of a whale's tail. perh. transf. use of FLUKE1, from its shape.

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fluke

fluke3 (orig. billiards) successful stroke made by chance. XIX. perh. of dial. orig. (cf. dial. fluke guess, miss in fishing).

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fluke

fluke Small flatfish, Platichthys spp., also called flounder.

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fluke

flukearchduke, chibouk, duke, Farouk, fluke, gook, kook, Luke, nuke, peruke, puke, rebuke, Seljuk, snook, souk, spook, spruik, stook, tuque, zouk •gobbledegook • sail-fluke •Marmaduke • Pentateuch

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Fluke

Fluke ★★ 1995 (PG)

“Ghost” meets “Oh, Heavenly Dog” as Tom (Modine) dies in a suspicious car accident and is reincarnated as a dog who remembers his past life. He returns to his former family (Travis and Pomeranc) to protect them from his former business partner (Stoltz), battling such puppy perils as cosmetic testing labs and dogcatchers along the way. While there's plenty of squishy sentimentality to go around, some of the scenes involving animal abuse may be a little much for the target audience of preteen kids. Jackson and Stoltz trade “Pulp Fiction” for pup fiction, but this dog won't hunt. Based on the novel by James Herbert. 96m/C VHS, DVD . Matthew Modine, Nancy Travis, Eric Stoltz, Max Pomeranc, Ron Perlman, Jon Polito, Bill Cobbs, Frederico Pacifici, Collin Wilcox-Paxton; D: Carlo Carlei; W: James Carrington, Carlo Carlei; C: Raffaele Mertes; M: Carlo Siliotto; V: Samuel L. Jackson.

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