epithelium

noun
ep·​i·​the·​li·​um | \ ˌe-pə-ˈthē-lē-əm How to pronounce epithelium (audio) \
plural epithelia\ ˌe-​pə-​ˈthē-​lē-​ə How to pronounce epithelium (audio) \

Definition of epithelium

1 : a membranous cellular tissue that covers a free surface or lines a tube or cavity of an animal body and serves especially to enclose and protect the other parts of the body, to produce secretions and excretions, and to function in assimilation
2 : a usually thin layer of parenchyma that lines a cavity or tube of a plant

Examples of epithelium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As part of that work, the lab sequenced cells in the epithelium — a sheet of neurons and supporting cells lining the upper nasal cavities — and olfactory bulb of mice to determine what RNA each cell expressed. New York Times, "What Can Covid-19 Teach Us About the Mysteries of Smell?," 28 Jan. 2021 Disruption of the olfactory epithelium could explain the loss of smell. Stephani Sutherland, Scientific American, "Mysteries of COVID Smell Loss Finally Yield Some Answers," 18 Nov. 2020 Their epithelium, or nasal tissue, is about 30 times larger than ours. Ellen Furlong, chicagotribune.com, "Wondering what your dog is thinking? Smelling? Here are some answers," 27 Oct. 2020 The key actions produced by the initial injury and wound epithelium also remain mysterious. Amber Dance, Smithsonian Magazine, "Some Salamanders Can Regrow Lost Body Parts. Could Humans One Day Do the Same?," 30 Jan. 2020 When someone takes a big sniff, molecules travel up the nose to the olfactory epithelium, a small piece of tissue at the back of the nasal cavity. Sara Harrison, National Geographic, "Many COVID-19 patients lost their sense of smell. Will they get it back?," 5 Aug. 2020 The first requirement for limb regeneration is the presence of a wound, and formation of wound epithelium. Amber Dance, Smithsonian Magazine, "Some Salamanders Can Regrow Lost Body Parts. Could Humans One Day Do the Same?," 30 Jan. 2020 The additional claim that swabbing leads to damage in the olfactory epithelium is also unlikely. Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: No, the COVID-19 nasal test doesn't swab the blood-brain barrier," 9 July 2020 There's the olfactory epithelium (involved in sense of smell). Miriam Fauzia, USA TODAY, "Fact check: No, the COVID-19 nasal test doesn't swab the blood-brain barrier," 9 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'epithelium.' 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 epithelium

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for epithelium

New Latin, from epi- + Greek thēlē nipple — more at feminine

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Time Traveler for epithelium

Time Traveler

The first known use of epithelium was in 1748

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Statistics for epithelium

Last Updated

5 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Epithelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epithelium. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for epithelium

epithelium

noun
ep·​i·​the·​li·​um | \ ˌep-ə-ˈthē-lē-əm How to pronounce epithelium (audio) \
plural epithelia\ -​lē-​ə How to pronounce epithelium (audio) \

Medical Definition of epithelium

: a membranous cellular tissue that covers a free surface or lines a tube or cavity of an animal body and serves especially to enclose and protect the other parts of the body, to produce secretions and excretions, and to function in assimilation

More from Merriam-Webster on epithelium

Britannica English: Translation of epithelium for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about epithelium

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