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Syllabification: ep·i·the·li·um
Pronunciation: /ˌepəˈTHēlēəm

Definition of epithelium in English:

noun (plural epithelia /-lēə/)

1The thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body’s surface and lining the alimentary canal and other hollow structures.
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.


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



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.

Definition of epithelium in:

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