cil·​i·​ary | \ ˈsi-lē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce ciliary (audio) \

Definition of ciliary

1 : of, relating to, or being the annular suspension of the lens of the eye
2 : of or relating to cilia

Examples of ciliary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As Rosen zoomed in, however, an animal flowed across my field of vision, rapidly propelled by its scintillating ciliary fringe. Emily Underwood, The Atlantic, "The Search for the World’s Simplest Animal," 8 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ciliary.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of ciliary

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ciliary

Time Traveler for ciliary

Time Traveler

The first known use of ciliary was in 1691

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ciliary

Cite this Entry

“Ciliary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ciliary


cil·​i·​ary | \ ˈsil-ē-ˌer-ē How to pronounce ciliary (audio) \

Medical Definition of ciliary

1 : of or relating to cilia ciliary movement
2 : of, relating to, or being the annular suspension of the lens of the eye a ciliary arteriole ciliary spasm

Comments on ciliary

What made you want to look up ciliary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!