Definition of spicula in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈspɪkjʊlə/

noun (plural spiculae /ˈspɪkjʊliː/)

1A hard, pointed projection on part of a plant or animal; a spine or prickle.
Example sentences
  • Some of the fibres are thickly covered with extremely minute spicula, occasionally aggregated into little tuffs; and hence they have a hairy appearance.
  • The prickly ash is armed with spiculae, like the locust.
  • Others are barbed like the spicula of a bee's sting.
1.1A sharp-pointed crystalline structure.
Example sentences
  • The calcareous matter beneath the lava, and especially that forming the crystalline spicula, could not have been subjected to the effects of a passing stream.
  • We have only to suppose, the particles which are employed in crystallization, to be endowed with a tendency to form spiculae.
  • The frozen moisture may fall in spiculae or crystals of ice.


Mid 18th century: modern Latin, diminutive form of Latin spica 'spike'.

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