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 At the very top of the nasal cavity, up between the eyes, sits mucosal tissue known as the olfactory epithelium. Genevieve Fullan, Longreads, 12 Apr. 2022 At the very top of the nasal cavity, up between the eyes, sits mucosal tissue known as the olfactory epithelium. Genevieve Fullan, Longreads, 12 Apr. 2022 In ulcerative colitis, the barriers provided by mucus and the epithelium are dysfunctional. Jill Seladi-schulman, SELF, 15 Feb. 2022 The scientific name for this layer of cells is the epithelium. Jill Seladi-schulman, SELF, 15 Feb. 2022 The epithelium itself is an important barrier to potentially harmful substances and is fortified by tight connections between each cell. Jill Seladi-schulman, SELF, 15 Feb. 2022 At the very top of the nasal cavity, up between the eyes, sits mucosal tissue known as the olfactory epithelium. Scott Sayare, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 Imatinib, an oral drug used to treat some leukemias and other types of cancer, can also protect the epithelium lining the alveoli, where oxygen crosses from the lungs into the blood. Kai Kupferschmidt, Science | AAAS, 5 Aug. 2021 At first, researchers wondered if the coronavirus was infecting nerves in the olfactory epithelium, a patch of tissue high in the nose near the base of the brain that helps people to smell. Nanette Asimov, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 July 2021 See More

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.

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

Learn More About epithelium

Time Traveler for epithelium

Time Traveler

The first known use of epithelium was in 1748

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near epithelium

epitheliotropic

epithelium

epitheloid

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for epithelium

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Epithelium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epithelium. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!