villus

noun

vil·​lus ˈvi-ləs How to pronounce villus (audio)
plural villi ˈvi-ˌlī How to pronounce villus (audio)
-(ˌ)lē
: a small slender often vascular process: such as
a
: one of the minute finger-shaped processes of the mucous membrane of the small intestine that serve in the absorption of nutriment
b
: one of the branching processes of the surface of the chorion of the developing embryo of most mammals that help to form the placenta

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, tuft of shaggy hair — more at velvet

First Known Use

1728, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of villus was in 1728

Dictionary Entries Near villus

Cite this Entry

“Villus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/villus. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

villus

noun
vil·​lus ˈvil-əs How to pronounce villus (audio)
plural villi ˈvil-ˌī How to pronounce villus (audio)
: one of the tiny finger-shaped processes of the mucous membrane of the small intestine through which digested food is absorbed

Medical Definition

villus

noun
vil·​lus ˈvil-əs How to pronounce villus (audio)
plural villi -ˌī How to pronounce villus (audio)
: a small slender vascular process: as
a
: one of the minute fingerlike processes which more or less thickly cover and give a velvety appearance to the surface of the mucous membrane of the small intestine and serve in the absorption of nutriment and of which each has a central blindly ending lacteal surrounded by blood capillaries and covered with epithelium
b
: one of the branching processes of the surface of the chorion of the developing embryo of most mammals that are restricted to particular areas or diffusely arranged and over parts of the surface become vascular and help to form the placenta

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