Definition of velum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈviːləm/

noun (plural vela /ˈviːlə/)

1A membrane or membranous structure, typically covering another structure or partly obscuring an opening, in particular:
1.1 Anatomy The soft palate.
Example sentences
  • The back of the tongue lies opposite the soft palate or velum when the tongue is in a state of rest, and sounds made with the back include velar consonants and back vowels.
  • This technique allows for closure of the velum, thus excluding nasal NO contamination during expiration.
  • For ‘mouth breathing’ protocols, patients were instructed with a technique aimed at achieving velum closure of the nasopharynx and asked to practice it prior to testing.
1.2 Zoology A membrane, typically bordering a cavity, especially in certain molluscs, medusae, and other invertebrates.
Example sentences
  • Scyphozoan medusae differ from those of hydrozoans in lacking a velum.
  • Adult heteromorphs show wide velum; the velum in tecnomorphs is narrower.
  • Free-living medusoid hydrozoans can be hard to tell from scyphozoans, but hydrozoan medusae generally have a muscular shelf, or velum, projecting inward from the margin of the bell.
1.3 Botany The veil of a toadstool.


Mid 18th century: from Latin, literally 'sail, curtain, covering, veil'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: velum

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.