cil·​i·​ate ˈsi-lē-ət How to pronounce ciliate (audio)
: any of a phylum or subphylum (Ciliophora) of ciliated protozoans (such as paramecia)

Examples of ciliate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the researchers watched over the next days, the ciliates depleted the chlorovirus population, and imaging confirmed that the viruses were ending up inside the ciliates. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Quanta Magazine, 21 Feb. 2023 While the ciliate’s involvement was unexpected, after scientists studied urchins from 23 sites in the Caribbean, there was no denying what had been the murderer. Carolyn Hagler, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 May 2023 Moreover, as the chlorovirus populations declined, the Halteria ciliates grew in size and number. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Quanta Magazine, 21 Feb. 2023 Rudek regularly dipped the stars in an iodine solution to kill a group of parasites called ciliates that scar the skin and slow the healing process. Dino Grandoni, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Mar. 2023 Ciliates are considered the most evolved and complex of protozoans, and there are over 8,000 different ciliate species. Carl Engelking, Discover Magazine, 9 Dec. 2015 Various other organisms also popped up alive in the mollusk feces, including springtails, ciliates, nematodes, mosses, and plant seeds. Yao-Hua Law, Science | AAAS, 27 Mar. 2018

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

Word History

First Known Use

1916, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ciliate was in 1916

Dictionary Entries Near ciliate

Cite this Entry

“Ciliate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


cil·​i·​ate ˈsil-ē-ət How to pronounce ciliate (audio)
: any of a group of protozoans that have cilia

Medical Definition


cil·​i·​ate ˈsil-ē-ət, -ē-ˌāt How to pronounce ciliate (audio)
: any of a phylum or subphylum (Ciliophora) of ciliated protozoans (such as paramecia)

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