[vee-luh m]
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noun, plural ve·la [vee-luh] /ˈvi lə/, for 1, 2, ve·lum for 3.
  1. Biology. any of various veillike or curtainlike membranous partitions.
  2. Anatomy. the soft palate.See under palate(def 1).
  3. Meteorology. a thin cloud, large in horizontal area, that is draped over or penetrated by cumuliform clouds.

Origin of velum

First recorded in 1765–75, velum is from the Latin word vēlum sail, covering Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for velum

veil, membrane, palate

Examples from the Web for velum

Historical Examples of velum

British Dictionary definitions for velum


noun plural -la (-lə)
  1. zoology any of various membranous structures, such as the ciliated oral membrane of certain mollusc larvae or the veil-like membrane running around the rim of a jellyfish
  2. anatomy any of various veil-like bodily structures, esp the soft palate
  3. botany another word for veil (def. 6)

Word Origin for velum

C18: from Latin: veil
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

Word Origin and History for velum

1771, from Latin velum "a sail, awning, curtain, covering" (see veil (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

velum in Medicine


n. pl. ve•la (-lə)
  1. An anatomical structure resembling a veil or curtain.veil velamen
  2. greater omentum
  3. A serous membrane or membranous envelope or covering.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.