ses·​sile ˈse-ˌsī(-ə)l How to pronounce sessile (audio)
: attached directly by the base : not raised upon a stalk or peduncle
a sessile leaf
sessile bubbles
: permanently attached or established : not free to move about
sessile sponges and coral polyps

Examples of sessile in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This discovery of the cassiosomes takes us one step closer to understanding how these sessile creatures manage to capture prey. Cheryl Ames, National Geographic, 13 Feb. 2020 To assemble the data set, research teams looked at about 20 trees from each of the dozen tree species, which included maritime pine, Norway spruce, sessile oak, stone pine, and European beech. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 27 Jan. 2020 Jellyfish begin their lives much like their cousins, as sessile polyps anchored to the seafloor, scrounging for food in the passing currents. Quanta Magazine, 8 Jan. 2019 Well, the sessile oak sapling—from Belleau, the French site of a World War I battle—is no longer on the White House lawn. David Meyer, Fortune, 30 Apr. 2018 Another factor, Monterro-Serra notes, is that these sessile species are clonal. National Geographic, 31 Mar. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sessile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin sessilis of or fit for sitting, low, dwarf (of plants), from sessus, past participle of sedēre

First Known Use

circa 1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sessile was circa 1753

Dictionary Entries Near sessile

Cite this Entry

“Sessile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ses·​sile ˈses-ˌīl How to pronounce sessile (audio)
: attached directly by the base and not raised upon a stalk
a sessile leaf
: permanently attached and not free to move about : sedentary
sessile coral polyps

Medical Definition


ses·​sile ˈses-īl How to pronounce sessile (audio) -əl How to pronounce sessile (audio)
: attached directly by a broad base : not pedunculated
a sessile tumor
: firmly attached (as to a cell) : not free to move about
sessile antibodies
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