Definition of velum in English:


Syllabification: ve·lum
Pronunciation: /ˈvēləm

noun (plural vela /-lə/)

  • 1A membrane or membranous structure, typically covering another structure or partly obscuring an opening, in particular.
  • 1.1 Anatomy The soft palate.
    More example sentences
    • The back of the tongue lies opposite the soft palate or velum when the tongue is in a state of rest, and sounds made with the back include velar consonants and back vowels.
    • This technique allows for closure of the velum, thus excluding nasal NO contamination during expiration.
    • For ‘mouth breathing’ protocols, patients were instructed with a technique aimed at achieving velum closure of the nasopharynx and asked to practice it prior to testing.
  • 1.2 Zoology A membrane, typically bordering a cavity, especially in certain mollusks, medusae, and other invertebrates.
    More example sentences
    • Scyphozoan medusae differ from those of hydrozoans in lacking a velum.
    • Adult heteromorphs show wide velum; the velum in tecnomorphs is narrower.
    • Free-living medusoid hydrozoans can be hard to tell from scyphozoans, but hydrozoan medusae generally have a muscular shelf, or velum, projecting inward from the margin of the bell.
  • 1.3 Botany The veil of a toadstool.


mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'sail, curtain, covering, veil'.

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