Dictionary.com

papilla

[ puh-pil-uh ]
/ pəˈpɪl ə /
Save This Word!

noun, plural pa·pil·lae [puh-pil-ee]. /pəˈpɪl i/.

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.

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON THE MANY TYPES OF NOUNS

They're everywhere you turn, but can you identify the 10 types of nouns easily? This quiz will test your mettle against singular, plural, concrete, abstract, common, proper, collective, compound, countable, and uncountable nouns!
Question 1 of 7
Shoelaces, rainbow, toothpaste, and haircuts are all what type of noun?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of papilla

1400–50; late Middle English <Latin: nipple, teat, diminutive of papula pimple. See pap2

OTHER WORDS FROM papilla

pap·il·lar [pap-uh-ler, puh-pil-er], /ˈpæp ə lər, pəˈpɪl ər/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for papilla

British Dictionary definitions for papilla

papilla
/ (pəˈpɪlə) /

noun plural -lae (-liː)

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

Derived forms of papilla

papillary, papillate or papillose, adjective

Word Origin for papilla

C18: from Latin: nipple; related to Latin papula pimple
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

Medical definitions for papilla

papilla
[ pə-pĭlə ]

n. pl. pa•pil•lae (-pĭlē)

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.

Other words from papilla

papil•lar′y (păpə-lĕr′ē, pə-pĭlə-rē) adj.papil•late′ (păpə-lāt′, pə-pĭlĭt) adj.pap•il•lose (păpə-lōs′, pə-pĭlōs′) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for papilla

papilla
[ pə-pĭlə ]

Plural papillae (pə-pĭlē)

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.
FEEDBACK