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[gloh-mer-yuh-luh s, gluh-] /gloʊˈmɛr yə ləs, glə-/
noun, plural glomeruli
[gloh-mer-yuh-lahy, gluh-] /gloʊˈmɛr yəˌlaɪ, glə-/ (Show IPA).
a compact cluster of capillaries.
Also called Malpighian tuft. a tuft of convoluted capillaries in the nephron of a kidney, functioning to remove certain substances from the blood before it flows into the convoluted tubule.
Origin of glomerulus
1855-60; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin glomer- (stem of glomus) ball-shaped mass + -ulus -ule
Related forms
glomerular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for glomerulus


noun (pl) -li (-ˌlaɪ)
a knot of blood vessels in the kidney projecting into the capsular end of a urine-secreting tubule
any cluster or coil of blood vessels, nerve fibres, etc, in the body
Derived Forms
glomerular, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin, diminutive of glomus ball
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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glomerulus in Medicine

glomerulus glo·mer·u·lus (glō-měr'yə-ləs)
n. pl. glo·mer·u·li (-lī')

  1. A small cluster or intertwined mass.

  2. A tuft of capillaries situated within a Bowman's capsule at the end of a renal tubule in the vertebrate kidney that filters waste products from the blood and thus initiates urine formation.

  3. The twisted secretory portion of a sweat gland.

  4. A nerve ending consisting of a cluster of dendritic ramifications and axon terminals surrounded by a glial sheath.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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glomerulus in Science
Plural glomeruli (glō-měr'yə-lī')
A knot of highly permeable capillaries located within the Bowman's capsule of a nephron. Waste products are filtered from the blood in the glomerulus, initiating the process of urine formation.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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