cilium

noun
cil·i·um | \ˈsi-lē-əm \
plural cilia\-lē-ə \

Definition of cilium 

1 : a minute short hairlike process often forming part of a fringe especially : one on a cell that is capable of lashing movement and serves especially in free unicellular organisms to produce locomotion or in higher forms a current of fluid

2 : eyelash

Examples of cilium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Among their design concerns were methods for nurturing cilium and for recycling sweat. Guy Trebay, New York Times, "Van Gogh on Five, Wonderbra on Six: A Tour of MoMA’s New Fashion Exhibit," 26 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of cilium

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cilium

New Latin, from Latin, eyelid; akin to Latin celare to conceal — more at hell

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Dictionary Entries near cilium

Cilioflagellata

ciliolate

ciliolum

cilium

cill

Çiller

cillery

Statistics for cilium

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Time Traveler for cilium

The first known use of cilium was in 1794

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More Definitions for cilium

cilium

noun
cil·i·um | \ˈsi-lē-əm \
plural cilia\ˈsi-lē-ə \

Kids Definition of cilium

: a tiny hairlike structure on the surface of some cells

cilium

noun
cil·i·um | \ˈsil-ē-əm \
plural cilia\-ē-ə \

Medical Definition of cilium 

1 : eyelash

2 : a minute, short, hairlike process that projects from the surface of most eukaryotic cells, is composed chiefly of microtubules, in unicellular organisms functions chiefly in locomotion, and in higher forms serves especially in the movement of fluids and particles (as the passage of mucus and dust from the lungs) and in sensory reception — see ciliopathy

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