glo·mer·u·lus | \glə-ˈmer-(y)ə-ləs, glō-\
plural glomeruli\glə-ˈmer-(y)ə-ˌlī, -ˌlē, glō- \

Definition of glomerulus 

: a small convoluted or intertwined mass especially : a tuft of capillaries at the point of origin of each vertebrate nephron that passes a protein-free filtrate to the surrounding Bowman's capsule

First Known Use of glomerulus

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for glomerulus

New Latin, glomerulus, glomerule, diminutive of Latin glomer-, glomus ball; akin to Latin globus globe

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about glomerulus

Share glomerulus

Statistics for glomerulus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for glomerulus

The first known use of glomerulus was in 1856

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for glomerulus


glo·mer·u·lus | \glə-ˈmer-(y)ə-ləs, glō- \
plural glomeruli\-ˌlī, -ˌlē \

Medical Definition of glomerulus 

: a small convoluted or intertwined mass (as of organisms, nerve fibers, or capillaries): as

a : a tuft of capillaries that is covered by epithelium, is situated at the point of origin of each vertebrate nephron, and normally passes a protein-free filtrate from the blood to the surrounding Bowman's capsule — see renal corpuscle

b : the convoluted secretory part of a sweat gland

c : a dense entanglement of nerve fibers situated in the olfactory bulb and containing the primary synapses of the olfactory pathway

called also olfactory glomerulus

More from Merriam-Webster on glomerulus Encyclopedia article about glomerulus

Comments on glomerulus

What made you want to look up glomerulus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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