- Anatomy, Zoology. one of the minute, wormlike processes on certain membranes, especially on the mucous membrane of the small intestine, where they serve in absorbing nutriment.
- Botany. one of the long, soft, straight hairs covering the fruit, flowers, and other parts of certain plants.
Origin of villus
1695–1705; < Latin: shaggy hair, thick nap
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for villus
Villus: a short, hair-like or papillate process on the surface of certain absorbent and sensory organs.
Villi: soft hairs or papillate processes: plural of villus, q.v.
- zoology anatomy any of the numerous finger-like projections of the mucous membrane lining the small intestine of many vertebrates
- any similar membranous process, such as any of those in the mammalian placenta
- botany any of various hairlike outgrowths, as from the stem of a moss
C18: from Latin: shaggy hair
Word Origin and History for villus
1704, plural villi, from Latin villus "tuft of hair, shaggy hair" (see velvet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A minute projection arising from a mucous membrane, especially one of the vascular projections of the small intestine.
- Such a projection of the chorion that contributes to placental formation in mammals.
- A small projection on the surface of a mucous membrane, such as that of the small intestine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.