Definition of spicula in English:


Line breaks: spic¦ula
Pronunciation: /ˈspɪkjʊlə


(plural spiculae /-liː/) technical
  • 1A hard, pointed projection on part of a plant or animal; a spine or prickle.
    More example sentences
    • In certain genera with a simple spike this is clearly proved by the structure of the terminal flower or spicula.
    • Others are barbed like the spicula of a bee's sting.
    • The prickly ash is armed with spiculae, like the locust.
  • 1.1A sharp-pointed crystalline structure.
    More example sentences
    • The spiculae of hoar frost were of all lengths, from an inch downward.
    • The frozen moisture may fall in spiculae or crystals of ice.
    • We have only to suppose, the particles which are employed in crystallization, to be endowed with a tendency to form spiculae.


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

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