Definition of papilla in English:

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Pronunciation: /pəˈpɪlə/

noun (plural papillae /pəˈpɪliː/)

1A small rounded protuberance on a part or organ of the body: as food touches the tongue it comes into contact with the sensory papillae
More example sentences
  • The size and shape of the foliate papillae on the posterolateral margins of the tongue are variable.
  • Gross and histologic examination of the excised specimen revealed a pancreatic serous cystadenoma with multifocal papillae.
  • Red hypertrophic papillae can be found under the upper eyelid.
1.1A small fleshy projection on a plant.
Example sentences
  • When the flower opens, styles are short and the stigma papillae are undeveloped; pollen grains do not adhere.
  • A total of 75 taxa were examined for floral papillae and/or trichomes using light microscopy and/or low-vacuum scanning electron microscopy.
  • As the pollen presenters aged, the stigmatic papillae separated further forming a definite slit or groove.



Pronunciation: /pəˈpɪləri/
Example sentences
  • Amanda has papillary thyroid carcinoma and is seriously ill.
  • In older patients obstructive nephropathy, urinary infection and papillary necrosis are common.
  • Diagnosis is made either by incisional biopsy or fine-needle aspiration, revealing spindle cells and papillary clusters.


Pronunciation: /ˈpapɪleɪt/
Example sentences
  • The internal row is variable in length, originating at the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth cusp of the middle row; the cusps are large and conspicuous posteriorly, but become smaller anteriorly, eventually grading into a papillate ridge.
  • Both cone types are of comparable size with helically arranged, imbricate microsporophylls, and have microsporophyll head abaxial cuticles with a thicker papillate central region and a thinner, nonpapillate marginal region.
  • They also function as nectar secretion and storage organs; the inside surfaces of these ‘cups’ are strikingly papillate, probably indicating the site of nectar secretion.


Pronunciation: /ˈpapɪləʊs/
Example sentences
  • In M. meleagris, a species thought to be closely related to members of the M. cucullata alliance, the labellum is papillose and the conical papillae which have pointed tips resemble those of M. densa.
  • In B. ipanemense, B. involutum and B. weddellii the papillose epidermal cells were densely stained, with basal nuclei and many droplets, as well as amyloplasts.
  • The results impressively demonstrated the importance of roughening on different length scales for water-repellency, since extremely papillose surfaces, having an additional wax layer, are able to resist up to 70% methanol.


Late 17th century: from Latin, literally 'nipple', diminutive of papula 'small protuberance'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pa|pilla

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