Definition of villus in English:


Syllabification: vil·lus
Pronunciation: /ˈviləs


(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.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 1.2A fold of the chorion.
    More example sentences
    • Amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, or fetal serum can be tested for evidence of West Nile virus infection.
    • Placenta increta is the invasion of the myometrium by chorionic villi.
    • If chorionic villi are not detected, ectopic pregnancy should be suspected.
  • 2 [(usually in plural)] Botany A long slender hair.
    More example sentences
    • 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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