Definition of Cilium

1. Noun. A hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms.

Generic synonyms: Cell Organ, Cell Organelle, Organelle
Derivative terms: Cilial, Ciliary

2. Noun. Any of the short curved hairs that grow from the edges of the eyelids.
Exact synonyms: Eyelash, Lash
Generic synonyms: Hair
Group relationships: Eyelid, Lid, Palpebra
Derivative terms: Ciliary

Definition of Cilium

1. n. See Cilia.

Definition of Cilium

1. Noun. (cytology) A hairlike organelle projecting from a eukaryotic cell (such as unicellular organism or one cell of a multicelled organism). These structures serve either for locomotion by moving or as sensors. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Cilium

1. a short, hairlike projection [n CILIA]

Medical Definition of Cilium

1. Motile appendage of eukaryotic cells that contains an axoneme, a bundle of microtubules arranged in a characteristic fashion with nine outer doublets and a central pair (9+2 arrangement). Active sliding of doublets relative to one another generates curvature and the asymmetric stroke of the cilium drives fluid in one direction (or the cell in the other direction). This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology (11 Mar 2008)

Cilium Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Cilium

ciliophora infections
ciliospinal centre
ciliospinal reflex
cilium (current term)

Literary usage of Cilium

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The American Naturalist by American Society of Naturalists, Essex Institute (1907)
"contraction of the protoplasm above the cilium carries its base upward, and cramps the cilium against the overhanging edge of the groove until the lower ..."

2. Protoplasm: Or, Matter and Life. With Some Remarks Upon the "Confession" of by Lionel Smith Beale (1874)
"3 ; and the latter may, in some instances, be traced for some distance towards the apex of the cilium apparently occupying its central part, figs. 2, 3, 5. ..."

3. A German-English dictionary of terms used in medicine and the allied sciences by Hugo Lang, Bertram Abrahams (1905)
"... olfactory fossa laar, n. cilium of olfactory jus membrane lärchen, n. = -haar laut, /. olfactory mucous brane ügel, m. pulvinar of nasal ..."

4. A Manual of the Infusoria: Including a Description of All Known Flagellate by William Saville-Kent (1880)
"... supplemented by a simple horny tubular pharynx, a single long, stiff cilium or seta projecting externally from the oral fossa. HAB. ..."

5. Protoplasm, or, life, matter and mind by Lionel Smith Beale (1870)
"The cilium itself is not composed of living matter, but its base is certainly ... The latter may indeed be actually prolonged into the base of the cilium. ..."

6. Handbook of Physiology by William Dobinson Halliburton (1913)
"It has been suggested by Engelmann that the contractile part of the protoplasm is only on the concave side of a curved cilium, and that when this contracts ..."

7. General Physiology: An Outline of the Science of Life by Max Verworn (1899)
"It is then found that the resting-position, from which the cilium performs ... At one time the cilium lies more against the body, at another time it stands ..."

8. A Text book of physiology by Michael Foster (1881)
"The cause of the flexion seems to be the contraction of the cilium, and that of the return, an elastic reaction. Various attempts to explain the movement by ..."

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