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n 1  cap  :  the type genus of the family Trypanosomatidae comprising kinetoplastid flagellates that as adults are elongated and somewhat spindle-shaped, have a posteriorly arising flagellum which passes forward at the margin of an undulating membrane and emerges near the anterior end of the body as a short free flagellum, and are parasitic in the blood or rarely the tissues of vertebrates, that in the development phase which occurs in the digestive tract of a blood-sucking invertebrate and usu. an insect pass through a series of changes comparable to the typical forms of members of the genera Leishmania, Leptomonas, and Crithidia, multiply freely, and pass ultimately to the mouthparts or salivary structures whence they may be inoculated into a new vertebrate host bitten by the invertebrate host, and that are responsible for various serious diseases (as Chagas' disease, dourine, nagana, sleeping sickness, and surra) of humans and domestic animals  2  pl  -mas  or  -ma*ta   :  TRYPANOSOME .
Similar sounding terms:  try·pano·some 

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