as·​per·​gil·​lum ˌa-spər-ˈji-ləm How to pronounce aspergillum (audio)
plural aspergilla ˌa-spər-ˈji-lə How to pronounce aspergillum (audio) or aspergillums
: a brush or small perforated container with a handle that is used for sprinkling holy water in a liturgical service

Illustration of aspergillum

Illustration of aspergillum

Examples of aspergillum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Father David Askoak takes an aspergillum — a brush used for holy water — dips it into one of the containers and sprinkles the crowd with the water. Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2023 Harvard University researchers hoping to build stronger and lighter structures looked for inspiration in the deep-water sponge Euplectella aspergillum, whose tubelike skeleton forms a square grid with diagonal reinforcements. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, 30 Oct. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aspergillum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin aspergere

First Known Use

1649, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aspergillum was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near aspergillum

Cite this Entry

“Aspergillum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

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