Definition of ciliate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsilēāt/
Pronunciation: /ˈsilēət/


A single-celled animal of a phylum distinguished by the possession of cilia or ciliary structures. The ciliates are a large and diverse group of advanced protozoans.
  • Phylum Ciliophora, kingdom Protista (formerly class Ciliata, phylum Protozoa).
Example sentences
  • Most ciliates cannot reproduce indefinitely by asexual fission, and eventually die out if prohibited from conjugating.
  • Several of his images of ciliates are available; look under ‘Infusoria,’ an older name for the Ciliata.
  • In the most recent classification of ciliates, the group is divided into eight classes.


1(Of an organism, cell, or surface) bearing cilia.
Example sentences
  • In the present study we were unable to observe cilia in any presumptive ciliate protozoan.
  • Although their roles as parasitic castrators has been documented, relatively little is known about the biology of ciliate parasites in mayflies.
1.1 Botany (Of a margin) having a fringe of hairs.
Example sentences
  • The species displays narrower leaves without a ciliate margin.



Pronunciation: /ˈsilēātid/
Example sentences
  • Most of the epithelial cells are ciliated, with microscopic ‘hairs’ that continuously sweep any surface material towards the larynx.
  • Chemical irritants such as cigarette smoke or other environmental or industrial pollutants damage the ciliated cells.
  • The examination revealed a ciliated form that was thought to represent a ciliated microorganism.


Pronunciation: /ˌsilēˈāSHən/
Example sentences
  • Ciliation was most prominent on the pharyngeal region and on the tail fins.
  • Ciliation in the oesophagus and stomach is evident at this stage.
  • Much of the larval ciliation is lost at metamorphosis, with the exception of that in the gut.

Words that rhyme with ciliate

affiliate, conciliate, humiliate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cil·i·ate

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