- any small, nipplelike process or projection.
- one of certain small protuberances concerned with the senses of touch, taste, and smell: the papillae of the tongue.
- a small vascular process at the root of a hair.
- a papule or pimple.
Origin of papilla
1400–50; late Middle English < Latin: nipple, teat, diminutive of papula pimple. See pap2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for papilla
They are so numerous that 1,760 have been counted on one papilla of an ox's tongue.
A papilla of the dermis makes its appearance, the outer layer of which gradually calcifies to form the dentine and osseous tissue.The Works of Francis Maitland Balfour, Volume III (of 4)
Francis Maitland Balfour
The papilla continues to elongate and the cryptogam to increase, until finally it invades nearly the entire length of the papilla.
Entrance of biliary and pancreatic ducts on summit of papilla of duodenum.
In 56 of these the duct of Santorini passed from the main duct into the duodenum, opening upon a papilla situated 2.5 cm.
- the small projection of tissue at the base of a hair, tooth, or feather
- any other similar protuberance
- any minute blunt hair or process occurring in plants
C18: from Latin: nipple; related to Latin papula pimple
Word Origin and History for papilla
plural papillae, 1690s, "nipple," from Latin papilla "nipple," diminutive of papula "swelling" (see pap (n.2)). Meaning "nipple-like protuberance" attested from 1713.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A small nipplelike projection, such as a protuberance on the skin, at the root of a hair or feather, or at the base of a developing tooth.
- One of the small, round or cone-shaped protuberances on the top of the tongue that contain taste buds.
- A pimple or pustule.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- A small part projecting from the surface of an organism. In mammals, the nipples of the mammary glands and the taste buds of the tongue are papillae. Papillae are often seen on the undersurfaces of mosses and ferns.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.