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 Programs to help treat cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia are in preclinical stages, using a non-viral lipid nanoparticle to deliver a payload to a specific organ. Ann Gehan, Dallas News, 2 Sep. 2021 One indefatigable individual subjected to 13 bead blasts responded persistently with ciliary alternation or contraction, never bending or detachment. Jennifer Frazer, Scientific American, 22 May 2021 As Rosen zoomed in, however, an animal flowed across my field of vision, rapidly propelled by its scintillating ciliary fringe. Emily Underwood, The Atlantic, 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

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

Dictionary Entries Near ciliary



ciliary body

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ciliary

Cite this Entry

“Ciliary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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