papilla

noun
pa·​pil·​la | \ pə-ˈpi-lə How to pronounce papilla (audio) \
plural papillae\ pə-​ˈpi-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce papillae (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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from papilla

papillary \ ˈpa-​pə-​ˌler-​ē How to pronounce papillary (audio) , especially British  pə-​ˈpi-​lə-​rē \ adjective
papillate \ ˈpa-​pə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce papillate (audio) , pə-​ˈpi-​lət How to pronounce papillate (audio) \ adjective
papillose \ ˈpa-​pə-​ˌlōs How to pronounce papillose (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, "Sumiteru Taniguchi, Nagasaki Survivor and Nuclear Arms Foe, Dies at 88," 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, "Survivor of Nagasaki bomb who campaigned to ban nukes dies," 30 Aug. 2017 Read those words aloud, slowly, letting each one run sensuously over the papillae of your tongue. John Brownlee, WIRED, "John Edwards Meets Second Life 'Feces Spewing Obscenity'," 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about papilla

Statistics for papilla

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for papilla

The first known use of papilla was in 1671

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 papillae (audio) , -​ˌī How to pronounce papillae (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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on papilla

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with papilla

Spanish Central: Translation of papilla

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about papilla

Comments on papilla

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

WORD OF THE DAY

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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