co·​lum·​nar | \ kə-ˈləm-nər How to pronounce columnar (audio) \

Definition of columnar

1 : of, relating to, resembling, or characterized by columns
2 : of, relating to, being, or composed of tall narrow somewhat cylindrical or prismatic epithelial cells

Examples of columnar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pruning didn’t much change Twisty Baby’s columnar appearance. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Bonnie Blodgett: Living and (hands-on) learning with my Japanese larch," 16 Nov. 2019 To the left of the guest house is a pair of columnar eastern white pines that, like the Katsuras, seem not to mind the very same conditions the birch detest. Bonnie Blodgett, Twin Cities, "Bonnie Blodgett: What a summer: A salmon-colored rose reappears, the Japanese beetles disappear," 12 Oct. 2019 Among them are a terrific pair of life-size young athletes poised to begin a footrace; two columnar water nymphs identified as the work of Stephanos, a Greek sculptor in Rome; and a leaping month-old piglet, poised on rear hooves. Christopher Knight,, "Review: Getty Villa’s ‘Buried by Vesuvius’ is exquisite and, at times, explicit," 3 July 2019 Four years later, the National Arboretum in Washington, D.C., introduced an even more columnar variety named Capital. Adrian Higgins, The Seattle Times, "Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.," 17 Sep. 2018 The temperature at which magma cools to form these columnar joints is a question that has fascinated the world of geology for a very long time. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Uncover the Secret of Strange, Geometrical Rock Formations," 12 Apr. 2018 Rounded barrel cactuses have low surface area, relative to their succulent storage capacity, while columnar cactuses or prickly pears expose only their thin edges at the tops or sides to direct sunlight. Natalie Angier, New York Times, "As Rains Ease in the West, Cactuses Shine Brighter Than Ever," 24 Apr. 2017

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

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First Known Use of columnar

1728, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for columnar

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The first known use of columnar was in 1728

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Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Columnar.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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co·​lum·​nar | \ kə-ˈləm-nər How to pronounce columnar (audio) \

Medical Definition of columnar

: of, relating to, being, or composed of tall narrow somewhat cylindrical or prismatic epithelial cells Barrett's esophagus is the condition in which a metaplastic columnar epithelium replaces the squamous epithelium that normally lines the distal esophagus.— Stuart Jon Spechler, Scientific American Medicine Bulletin, July 1998 When the development of the teeth is about to commence, the mouth cavity is lined by an epithelium which consists of a layer of low columnar cells.— James Henderson Scott et al., Introduction to Dental Anatomy, 1974

More from Merriam-Webster on columnar

Britannica English: Translation of columnar for Arabic Speakers

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a period of high artistic development

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