[ sil-ee-uh ]
See synonyms for: ciliacilium on

plural noun,singular cil·i·um [sil-ee-uhm]. /ˈsɪl i əm/.
  1. Biology. minute hairlike organelles, identical in structure to flagella, that line the surfaces of certain cells and beat in rhythmic waves, providing locomotion to ciliate protozoans and moving liquids along internal epithelial tissue in animals.

  2. Anatomy. the eyelashes.

Origin of cilia

1705–15; New Latin, plural of cilium eyelash, Latin: upper eyelid, perhaps a back formation from supercilium eyebrow; see supercilium

Words Nearby cilia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use cilia in a sentence

  • Attorney cilia Flores, the first lady, is actually called “First Fighter.”

  • When the quantity is very small there may be no cough, the sputum reaching the larynx by action of the bronchial cilia.

    A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
  • The cilia also send particles of food into a funnel-like opening, the gullet, on one side of the cell.

    A Civic Biology | George William Hunter
  • The locomotion of the paramœcium is caused by the movement of these cilia, which lash the water like a multitude of tiny oars.

    A Civic Biology | George William Hunter
  • cilia found the suggestion excellent, and began hinting to Soren that he was suffering from sleeplessness and gout.

    Dry Fish and Wet | Anthon Bernhard Elias Nilsen
  • cilia pondered over the matter for some time; she had never before known Soren to disregard her injunctions in that fashion.

    Dry Fish and Wet | Anthon Bernhard Elias Nilsen

British Dictionary definitions for cilia


/ (ˈsɪlɪə) /

  1. the plural of cilium

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