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)
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 To their surprise, the cells self-assembled into a network of layers that resembled the retina pigment epithelium and its vasculature. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 24 Jan. 2023 In the nose, expression is seen in both the respiratory epithelium (RE) and the olfactory sensory epithelium (OSE) but in much higher levels in the OSE. Leslie Kay, Scientific American, 13 June 2020 So might anatomical responses to those changes, such as the effect of colder or drier air on mucous membranes and the epithelium of the respiratory tract. WIRED, 2 Oct. 2023 Bile sludge buildup, abnormalities in the gallbladder wall or epithelium, and bile duct obstructions are some common culprits. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 31 Aug. 2023 For those people, the membrane that lines the respiratory tract and acts as a physical barrier against infection, known as the respiratory epithelium, is already compromised. Alex Orlando, Discover Magazine, 4 June 2020 The turbinates pass the air on to the olfactory region lined with olfactory epithelium, which detects odors. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2023 Twenty-four percent of the sera from patients with dog epithelium allergy recognized an IgE-binding band of 28 kd in HSP immunoblotting. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 2 June 2012 In the new study, published online in September in Scientific Reports, Otsu and his colleagues reported that the compounds in cigarette smoke cause iron buildup that kills cells in a critical outer layer of corneal tissue called the corneal epithelium. Nikk Ogasa, Scientific American, 18 Oct. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1748, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of epithelium was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near epithelium

Cite this Entry

“Epithelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epithelium. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

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)
1
: a tissue like a membrane that is made up of cells and covers a free surface or lines a tube or cavity of an animal body
2
: a usually thin layer of cells of a plant that is part of the parenchyma and lines a cavity or tube
epithelial
-lē-əl
adjective

Medical Definition

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)
: 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

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