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 \

Definition of papilla

: 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

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Other Words from papilla

papillate \ ˈpa-​pə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce papilla (audio) , pə-​ˈpi-​lət How to pronounce papilla (audio) \ 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 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 Taniguchi died at a hospital in Nagasaki of cancer of the duodenal papilla, the point where the pancreatic and bile ducts meet, according to the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2017 Read those words aloud, slowly, letting each one run sensuously over the papillae of your tongue. John Brownlee, WIRED, 2 Mar. 2007

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

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First Known Use of papilla

1671, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for papilla

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

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Time Traveler for papilla

Time Traveler

The first known use of papilla was in 1671

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Cite this Entry

“Papilla.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/papilla. Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for papilla

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) \

Medical Definition of papilla

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on papilla

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about papilla

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