Definition of osculum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈäskyələm/

noun (plural oscula /-lə/)

A large aperture in a sponge through which water is expelled.
Example sentences
  • Sponges will react by closing ostia or oscula, either because of direct physical stimulation or when suspended particles within the sponge are too large or highly concentrated.
  • In budding, aggregates of cells differentiate into small sponges that are released superficially or expelled through the oscula.
  • The hole closes and it is not until some days later that the sponge forms an osculum at its apical pole.


Early 17th century: from Latin, 'little mouth'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: os·cu·lum

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.