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spicule

[ spik-yool ]
/ ˈspɪk yul /
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noun

a small or minute, slender, sharp-pointed body or part; a small, needlelike crystal, process, or the like.
Zoology. one of the small, hard, calcareous or siliceous bodies that serve as the skeletal elements of various marine and freshwater invertebrates.
Astronomy. a jet of gas several hundred miles in diameter rising from the sun's surface to heights of 3,000 to 6,000 miles (4,800 to 9,600 km).

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Origin of spicule

First recorded in 1775–85; from Latin spīculum “spearhead, arrowhead, bee stinger,” equivalent to spīc(a) “ear of grain” + -ulum diminutive suffix; see spica, -ule
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for spicule

British Dictionary definitions for spicule

spicule
/ (ˈspɪkjuːl) /

noun

Also called: spiculum a small slender pointed structure or crystal, esp any of the calcareous or siliceous elements of the skeleton of sponges, corals, etc
astronomy a spiked ejection of hot gas occurring over 5000 kilometres above the sun's surface (in its atmosphere) and having a diameter of about 1000 kilometres

Derived forms of spicule

spiculate (ˈspɪkjʊˌleɪt, -lɪt), adjective

Word Origin for spicule

C18: from Latin: spiculum
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 spicule

spicule
[ spĭkyōōl ]

n. pl. spic•ules

A needlelike structure or part.

Other words from spicule

spicu•lar (-yə-lər) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for spicule

spicule
[ spĭkyōōl ]

A needlelike structure or part, such as one of the mineral structures supporting the soft tissue of certain invertebrates, especially sponges.
Any of numerous short-lived vertical jets of hot gas rising from the solar chromosphere and extending into the corona. Spicules, which only last for about five to ten minutes, are usually several hundred kilometers wide and several thousand kilometers high.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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