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[kol-yuh-mel-uh] /ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl ə/
noun, plural columellae
[kol-yuh-mel-ee] /ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl i/ (Show IPA).
  1. any of various small, columnlike structures of animals or plants; rod or axis.
  2. Mycology. a small central column of sterile tissue within the sporangium of certain fungi, liverworts, and mosses.
a small bone in the ear of amphibians, reptiles, and birds.
Origin of columella
1575-85; < Latin: small column, equivalent to colum- (variant of column-, stem of columna column) + -ella -elle
Related forms
columellar, adjective
[kol-yuh-mel-it, -eyt] /ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl ɪt, -eɪt/ (Show IPA),
postcolumellar, adjective
pseudocolumellar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for columella


noun (pl) -lae (-liː)
  1. the central part of the spore-producing body of some fungi and mosses
  2. any similar columnar structure
Also called columella auris (ˈɔːrɪs). a small rodlike bone in the middle ear of frogs, reptiles, and birds that transmits sound to the inner ear: homologous to the mammalian stapes
Derived Forms
columellar, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: diminutive of columnacolumn
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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columella in Medicine

columella col·u·mel·la (kŏl'yə-měl'ə, kŏl'ə-) or col·um·nel·la (kŏl'əm-něl'ə)
n. pl. col·u·mel·lae (-měl'ē) or col·um·nel·lae (-něl'ē)
A column-shaped anatomical structure.

col'u·mel'lar (-měl'ər) adj.
col'u·mel'late' (-měl'āt') adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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