noun (usually in plural cilia /ˈsɪlɪə/)
1 Biology A short microscopic hair-like vibrating structure found 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.
- 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.
Early 18th century (in the sense 'eyelash'): from Latin.
Words that rhyme with ciliumberyllium, psyllium, trillium
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Line breaks: cil¦ium
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