noun, plural a·cic·u·lae [uh-sik-yuh-lee] /əˈsɪk yəˌli/.

a needlelike part; spine, bristle, or needlelike crystal.
a plural of aciculum.

Origin of acicula

1875–80; < New Latin, Late Latin, alteration of acucula ornamental pin, equivalent to Latin acu-, stem of acus needle (cf. acute) + -cula -cule1


[uh-sik-yuh-luh m]

noun, plural a·cic·u·lums, a·cic·u·la [uh-sik-yuh-luh] /əˈsɪk yə lə/.

Zoology. one of the slender, sharp stylets embedded in the parapodia of certain annelid worms, as the polychaetes.

Origin of aciculum

alteration of acicula Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acicula

Historical Examples of acicula

  • Acicula lineata is a very small shell, the size of the Pupæ; mainly northern in distribution.

    Our British Snails

    John William Horsley

  • The banks of Aripo are not the only localities, nor is the acicula the only mollusc, by which pearls are furnished.

British Dictionary definitions for acicula


noun plural -lae (-ˌliː)

a needle-shaped part, such as a spine, prickle, or crystal
Derived Formsacicular, adjective

Word Origin for acicula

C19: New Latin, diminutive of acus needle


noun plural -lums or -la (-lə)

a needle-like bristle that provides internal support for the appendages (chaetae) of some polychaete worms

Word Origin for aciculum

C19: New Latin; see acicula
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