• synonyms


[mahy-see-lee-uh m]
noun, plural my·ce·li·a [mahy-see-lee-uh] /maɪˈsi li ə/. Mycology.
  1. the mass of hyphae that form the vegetative part of a fungus.
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Origin of mycelium

1830–40; < New Latin, equivalent to Greek myk- myc- + (h)ḗl(os) wart, nail + New Latin -ium -ium
Related formsmy·ce·li·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mycelium

Historical Examples

  • The mycelium exposed here is very similar to the mycelium of all mushrooms.

    The Mushroom, Edible and Otherwise

    M. E. Hard

  • It is gregarious, often many stems growing from one mass of mycelium.

  • The ills to which the mycelium is subject are not at all fully understood.

  • There is reason to think that, in some cases at any rate, the mycelium is that of the Truffle.

    The Beauties of Nature

    Sir John Lubbock

  • They are attached to the filaments of the mycelium, as in Uredo segetum.

British Dictionary definitions for mycelium


noun plural -lia (-lɪə)
  1. the vegetative body of fungi: a mass of branching filaments (hyphae) that spread throughout the nutrient substratum
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Derived Formsmycelial, adjectivemyceloid (ˈmaɪsɪˌlɔɪd), adjective

Word Origin

C19 (literally: nail of fungus): from myco- + Greek hēlos nail
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

mycelium in Medicine


n. pl. my•ce•li•a (-lē-ə)
  1. The vegetative part of a fungus, which consists of a mass of branching, threadlike hyphae.
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Related formsmy•celi•al null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

mycelium in Science


Plural mycelia
  1. The mass of fine branching tubes (known as hyphae) that forms the main growing structure of a fungus. Visible structures like mushrooms are reproductive structures produced by the mycelium.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.