ta·​pe·​tum | \ tə-ˈpē-təm How to pronounce tapetum (audio) \
plural tapeta\ tə-​ˈpē-​tə How to pronounce tapetum (audio) \

Definition of tapetum

1 : any of various reflective membranous layers or areas especially of the choroid and retina of the eye
2 : a layer of nutritive cells that invests the sporogenous tissue in the sporangium of vascular plants

Examples of tapetum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The part of the eye that changes color is the tapetum lucidum, a layer of tissue found behind the retina. Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY, 15 Dec. 2021 The tapetum lucidum, which lines most of the back of the retina, comes into play in low-light situations, allowing the cat's eye to take in extra light. Star Tribune, 21 May 2021 Some creatures, including cats, raccoons, and dogs, have a layer of reflective tissue in their eyes known as the tapetum lucidum. Matt Simon, WIRED, 14 Jan. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tapetum.' 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 tapetum

1713, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for tapetum

New Latin, from Latin tapete carpet, tapestry, from Greek tapēt-, tapēs carpet

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Time Traveler for tapetum

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The first known use of tapetum was in 1713

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Last Updated

18 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tapetum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tapetum. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for tapetum


ta·​pe·​tum | \ tə-ˈpēt-əm How to pronounce tapetum (audio) \
plural tapeta\ -​ˈpēt-​ə How to pronounce tapetum (audio) \

Medical Definition of tapetum

1 : any of various membranous layers or areas especially of the choroid and retina of the eye specifically : tapetum lucidum
2 : a layer of nerve fibers derived from the corpus callosum and forming part of the roof of each lateral ventricle of the brain

More from Merriam-Webster on tapetum

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tapetum


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