papilla

noun

pa·​pil·​la pə-ˈpi-lə How to pronounce papilla (audio)
plural papillae pə-ˈpi-(ˌ)lē How to pronounce papilla (audio)
-ˌlī
: a small projecting body part similar to a nipple in form:
a
: a vascular process of connective tissue extending into and nourishing the root of a hair, feather, or developing tooth see hair illustration
b
: any of the vascular protuberances of the dermal layer of the skin extending into the epidermal layer and often containing tactile corpuscles
c
: any of the small protuberances on the upper surface of the tongue often containing taste buds
papillate adjective
papillose
ˈpa-pə-ˌlōs How to pronounce papilla (audio)
pə-ˈpi-ˌlōs
adjective

Examples of papilla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In normal skin, osteopontin comes from dermal papilla, which sit at the base of hair follicles. Max G. Levy, WIRED, 12 July 2023 This is what happened on July 3, when the volcano exploded (see above), sending ash, papilla (larger volcanic fragments) and volcanincn bombs across the island, generating a small pyroclastic flow that headed down the side of the volcano into the ocean (see below). Erik Klemetti, Discover Magazine, 5 July 2019 The dermal papilla are cells at the base of each hair follicle that regulate growth and development. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2022 The dermal papilla need vitamin D to grow properly, which then affects the health of individual strands and the scalp as a whole. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 22 Apr. 2022 Hair dermal papillae cells are specialized mesenchymal cells located in the dermal papilla, where the latter is found at the bottom of hair follicles. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 8 Sep. 2021 Follicle Protection Complex zooms in on hair follicle stem cells and dermal papilla cells to promote hair growth. Bianca Salonga, Forbes, 24 Apr. 2022 There are many large nerves, as big as half a diameter in size, right under the dermal papilla, which are folds under the skin that are critical for maximum sensitivity. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 18 Jan. 2022 The cause of death was duodenal papilla cancer, according to Fumie Kakita, secretary general of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council. Motoko Rich, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'papilla.' 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

Latin, nipple, from diminutive of papula pimple; akin to Lithuanian papas nipple

First Known Use

1671, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of papilla was in 1671

Dictionary Entries Near papilla

Cite this Entry

“Papilla.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papilla. Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

papilla

noun
pa·​pil·​la pə-ˈpil-ə How to pronounce papilla (audio)
plural papillae -ˈpil-ē How to pronounce papilla (audio)
-ˌī
: a small bodily structure (as one on the surface of the tongue that often contains taste buds) that resembles a tiny nipple in form

Medical Definition

papilla

noun
pa·​pil·​la pə-ˈpil-ə How to pronounce papilla (audio)
plural papillae -ˈpil-(ˌ)ē How to pronounce papilla (audio) -ˌī How to pronounce papilla (audio)
: a small projecting body part similar to a nipple in form: as
a
: a vascular process of connective tissue extending into and nourishing the root of a hair, feather, or developing tooth
b
: any of the vascular protuberances of the dermal layer of the skin extending into the epidermal layer and often containing tactile corpuscles
d
: any of the small protuberances on the upper surface of the tongue see circumvallate papilla, filiform papilla, fungiform papilla, interdental papilla, optic papilla

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