gli·​al | \ ˈglē-əl How to pronounce glial (audio) , ˈglī- How to pronounce glial (audio) \

Definition of glial

: of, relating to, or constituting glia glial cells

Examples of glial in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Haas was diagnosed with a malignant glioma (a tumor that originates in the glial cells of the brain or spinal cord) in July 2020, according to the union. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 29 Apr. 2021 Moreover, new forms of support for peripheral nerve glial cells known as Schwann cells may also help persuade reluctant nerves to regrow. Scientific American, 23 Apr. 2021 And of the 85 billion other non-neuronal cells in the brain, one major type of cell called astrocyte glial cells have the ability to both listen in and modulate neuronal signaling and information processing. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 While 80 percent of genes stayed stable over time, the neuronal and glial genes represent the other 20 percent. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 26 Mar. 2021 Some of the brain’s most critical protein structures—ropy fibers called neurofilaments and glial fibrillary acidic proteins that act as scaffolding—were still intact, holding the rest of the tissue together in a dense, ultra-compact state. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Jan. 2020 Biologists studying microglia don’t tend to read papers about brain waves, and brain wave researchers are generally unaware of glial research. Quanta Magazine, 27 May 2020 In the human brain, glial cells are as abundant as neurons are. Quanta Magazine, 27 Jan. 2020 When glial cells were turned off via gene editing, the mice were less sensitive to pain such as pinpricks. National Geographic, 9 Jan. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of glial

1888, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About glial

Statistics for glial

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Glial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glial


gli·​al | \ ˈglē-əl How to pronounce glial (audio) , ˈglī-əl How to pronounce glial (audio) \

Medical Definition of glial

: of, relating to, or comprising glia glial cells


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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