cilia

[ sil-ee-uh ]
/ ˈsɪl i ə /

plural noun, singular cil·i·um [sil-ee-uh m] /ˈsɪl i əm/.

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.
Anatomy. the eyelashes.

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Origin of cilia

1705–15; New Latin, plural of cilium eyelash, Latin: upper eyelid, perhaps a back formation from supercilium eyebrow; see supercilium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cilia

British Dictionary definitions for cilia

cilia
/ (ˈsɪlɪə) /

noun

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

Scientific definitions for cilia

cilium
[ sĭlē-əm ]

Plural cilia

A tiny hairlike projection on the surface of some cells and microscopic organisms, especially protozoans. Cilia are capable of whipping motions and are used by some microorganisms, such as paramecia, for movement. Cilia lining the human respiratory tract act to remove foreign matter from air before it reaches the lungs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.