noun(plural villi /ˈvilī/ /ˈvilē/)
1 Anatomy Any of numerous minute elongated projections set closely together on a surface, typically increasing its surface area for the absorption of substances, in particular.
- Mutants were observed as non-staining ribbons on the surface of the villus.
- And the tiny hair-like projections on the cells - the villi (VIL-li) - shrink and may even disappear.
- The colon can be identified by its size and the absence of mucosal folds and villi; the inner surface is smooth.
1.1A fingerlike projection of the lining of the small intestine.
- The inner lining of the large intestine lacks the villi that characterize the small intestine.
- The lining of the small intestine is folded into finger-like projections, the villi, and deeper glands, the crypts.
- They are absorbed by the villi of the small intestine and carried by the portal vein to the liver.
2 [(usually in plural)] Botany A long slender hair.
- All details of her woodcarvings, even the villi, or small hairs on the stem of each plant, are done by hand with a knife.
- The formation of the attaching filaments and villi on the surface of the oocyte of Oryzias latipes were studied electron-microscopically.
Early 18th century: from Latin, literally 'shaggy hair'.
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