Share this entry
spicula Line breaks: spic¦ula
Pronunciation: /ˈspɪkjʊlə/

Definition of spicula in English:

noun (plural spiculaeˈspɪkjʊliː)

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'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources