[ kol-yuh-mel-uh ]
/ ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl ə /

noun, plural col·u·mel·lae [kol-yuh-mel-ee] /ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl i/. Biology.

  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

col·u·mel·lar, adjectivecol·u·mel·late [kol-yuh-mel-it, -eyt] /ˌkɒl yəˈmɛl ɪt, -eɪt/, adjectivepost·col·u·mel·lar, adjectivepseu·do·col·u·mel·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for columella

British Dictionary definitions for columella


/ (ˌkɒljʊˈmɛlə) /

noun plural -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 for columella

C16: from Latin: diminutive of columna column
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

Medicine definitions for columella


[ kŏl′yə-mĕlə ]

n. pl. col•u•mel•lae (-mĕlē)

A column-shaped anatomical structure.

Related forms

col′u•mellar (-mĕlər) adj.col′u•mellate′ (-mĕlāt′) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.