- any animal tissue that covers a surface, or lines a cavity or the like, and that, in addition, performs any of various secretory, transporting, or regulatory functions.
Origin of epithelium
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for epithelia
The epithelia of the rete mucosum are swollen and stretched.
The filaments in their further growth separate the epithelia, and even penetrate them.
After the first poisoning, the epithelia are permanently injured and remain more permeable to protein.The Treatment of Hay Fever
George Frederick Laidlaw
Mucus is a viscid fluid secreted by the gland-cells, or epithelia.
Between these chambers the separating strata of epithelia are compressed so as to form septa or partition walls.
- an animal tissue consisting of one or more layers of closely packed cells covering the external and internal surfaces of the body. The cells vary in structure according to their function, which may be protective, secretory, or absorptive
C18: New Latin, from epi- + Greek thēlē nipple
Word Origin and History for epithelia
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- Membranous tissue composed of one or more layers of cells separated by very little intercellular substance and forming the covering of most internal and external surfaces of the body and its organs.
- The thin, membranous tissue that lines most of the internal and external surfaces of an animal's body. Epithelium is composed of one or more layers of densely packed cells. In vertebrates, it lines the outer layer of the skin (epidermis), the surface of most body cavities, and the lumen of fluid-filled organs, such as the gut or intestine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.