• synonyms


[gloh-mer-yuh-luh s, gluh-]
noun, plural glo·mer·u·li [gloh-mer-yuh-lahy, gluh-] /gloʊˈmɛr yəˌlaɪ, glə-/. Anatomy.
  1. a compact cluster of capillaries.
  2. Also called Malpighian tuft. a tuft of convoluted capillaries in the nephron of a kidney, functioning to remove certain substances from the blood before it flows into the convoluted tubule.
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Origin of glomerulus

1855–60; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin glomer- (stem of glomus) ball-shaped mass + -ulus -ule
Related formsglo·mer·u·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for glomerulus

Historical Examples

  • Summary of the development of the head-kidney and glomerulus.

    The Works of Francis Maitland Balfour, Volume 1

    Francis Maitland Balfour

  • Each of these sacs with its contained blood vessels is called a glomerulus.

    A Civic Biology

    George William Hunter

  • This point is, however, difficult to make sure of owing to the facility with which the glomerulus breaks away.

  • We have reason to think that the corpuscles and vascular channels in the glomerulus are developed in situ.

  • On the inner wall of this diverticulum a projection is formed which becomes a glomerulus.

British Dictionary definitions for glomerulus


noun plural -li (-ˌlaɪ)
  1. a knot of blood vessels in the kidney projecting into the capsular end of a urine-secreting tubule
  2. any cluster or coil of blood vessels, nerve fibres, etc, in the body
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Derived Formsglomerular, adjective

Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, diminutive of glomus ball
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

glomerulus in Medicine


n. pl. glo•mer•u•li (-lī′)
  1. A small cluster or intertwined mass.
  2. A tuft of capillaries situated within a Bowman's capsule at the end of a renal tubule in the vertebrate kidney that filters waste products from the blood and thus initiates urine formation.
  3. The twisted secretory portion of a sweat gland.
  4. A nerve ending consisting of a cluster of dendritic ramifications and axon terminals surrounded by a glial sheath.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

glomerulus in Science


Plural glomeruli (glō-mĕryə-lī′)
  1. A knot of highly permeable capillaries located within the Bowman's capsule of a nephron. Waste products are filtered from the blood in the glomerulus, initiating the process of urine formation.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.