Definition of epithelium in English:


Line breaks: epi|the¦lium
Pronunciation: /ˌɛpɪˈθiːlɪəm

noun (plural epithelia /-lɪə/)

[mass noun] Anatomy
  • 1The thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body’s surface and lining the alimentary canal and other hollow structures.
    More example sentences
    • Eighty-five percent of human ovarian tumors arise from the epithelium or surface layer of tissue that surrounds the ovaries.
    • Each tonsil has an irregular number of ingrowths of the surface epithelium known as tonsillar crypts.
    • The lining epithelium was often eroded, and the underlying stroma showed dense infiltration by inflammatory cells.
  • 1.1The part of the epithelium derived from embryonic ectoderm and endoderm, as distinct from endothelium and mesothelium.



More example sentences
  • Eyelid closure is a process involving the migration of epithelial cells.
  • The cornea is a living membrane, very thin and only composed of epithelial cells over a supporting matrix.
  • Many of these cells closely resembled normal superficial epithelial cells.


mid 18th century: modern Latin, from epi- 'above' + Greek thēlē 'teat'.

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