[ ep-uh-thee-lee-uhl ]

  1. Biology. being or relating to an epithelium, any tissue that lines a cavity or covers a surface in an animal or plant: Cheek epithelial cells are often studied in school labs as they are easily obtained through a mouth rinse or swab.

Origin of epithelial

First recorded in 1935–40; epitheli(um) + -al1

Other words from epithelial

  • in·ter·ep·i·the·li·al, adjective
  • non·ep·i·the·li·al, adjective
  • sub·ep·i·the·li·al, adjective
  • un·ep·i·the·li·al, adjective

Words Nearby epithelial

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use epithelial in a sentence

  • It begins to form early in the embryo life as an epithelial ingrowth from the throat, and extends from the neck into the chest.

    Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
  • We find the outer wall made up of a thin layer of cells, the epithelial layer.

    A Civic Biology | George William Hunter