can·​a·​lic·​u·​lus ˌka-nə-ˈli-kyə-ləs How to pronounce canaliculus (audio)
plural canaliculi ˌka-nə-ˈli-kyə-ˌlī How to pronounce canaliculus (audio)
: a minute canal in a bodily structure
canalicular adjective

Word History


Latin, diminutive of canalis

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of canaliculus was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near canaliculus

Cite this Entry

“Canaliculus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Medical Definition


can·​a·​lic·​u·​lus -yə-ləs How to pronounce canaliculus (audio)
plural canaliculi -ˌlī, -ˌlē How to pronounce canaliculus (audio)
: a minute canal in a bodily structure: as
: one of the hairlike channels ramifying a haversian system in bone and linking the lacunae with one another and with the haversian canal
: one of the narrow spaces between cells in the anastomosing cords of cells that make up a liver lobule

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