Definition of cilium in English:

cilium

Syllabification: cil·i·um
Pronunciation: /ˈsilēəm
 
/

noun (usually in plural cilia /ˈsilēə/)

Biology & Anatomy
  • 1A short, microscopic, hairlike vibrating structure. Cilia occur in large numbers on the surface of certain cells, either causing currents in the surrounding fluid, or, in some protozoans and other small organisms, providing propulsion.
    More example sentences
    • Some single-celled organisms called protists do in fact use cilia on their cell surface to swim through water.
    • Our respiratory systems are lined with millions of tiny cilia that clean all kinds of irritants - germs, dust, mucus - out of our bodies.
    • As the cilia whip around clockwise, they circulate the fluids.
  • 1.1An eyelash, or a delicate hairlike structure that resembles one.
    More example sentences
    • Ectopic cilia are particularly irritating and likely to cause corneal ulcers.
    • Normally the eyelashes (or cilia) grow from follicles in the eyelid.

Origin

early 18th century (in the sense 'eyelash'): from Latin.

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