gli·​al ˈglē-əl How to pronounce glial (audio) ˈglī- How to pronounce glial (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting glia
glial cells

Examples of glial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Glioma originates in glial cells that surround and support neurons in the brain, per the website. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 11 Nov. 2023 Then, in 1990, a curious phenomenon emerged: Researchers observed an astrocyte, a subtype of glial cell, responding to glutamate, the main neurotransmitter that generates electrical activity. Laura Dattaro, Quanta Magazine, 18 Oct. 2023 But the human brain has about 16 billion neurons in the cortex alone, not to mention billions more glial cells. WIRED, 3 Oct. 2023 Their equivalent of blood simply sloshes through organs inside their exoskeleton, but their equivalent of a brain is sheathed in protective glial cells. Yasemin Saplakoglu, Quanta Magazine, 20 June 2023 A number of studies have focused on senescent glial cells in the brain, an important and large class of non-neuronal cells that have a host of critical functions. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 1 Feb. 2022 Now Fields and others have figured out exactly how glial cells alter myelin, the insulation of our neural wiring, to support the mind’s acquisition of knowledge. Curtis Brainard, Scientific American, 1 Mar. 2020 The team then measured the resulting amount of basal radial glial progenitor cells in the mice neocortexes, noting that the cells increased with the modern human variant of the protein, resulting in a higher production of neurons. Sam Walters, Discover Magazine, 29 Sep. 2022 The researchers, Joshua Raji and Christopher Potter, discovered that the two animals had around 200,000 brain cells on average, mostly neurons, with about 10 to 15 percent non-neuronal cells, such as glial cells. Avery Hurt, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of glial was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near glial

Cite this Entry

“Glial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Medical Definition


: of, relating to, or comprising glia
glial cells
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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