Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A microscopic hairlike process extending from the surface of a cell or unicellular organism. Capable of rhythmical motion, it acts in unison with other such structures to bring about the movement of the cell or of the surrounding medium.
  • n. An eyelash.
  • n. Botany One of the hairs along the margin or edge of a structure, such as a leaf, usually forming a fringe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See cilia.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy, one of the hairs which grow from the margin of the eyelids; an eyelash.
  • n. One of the minute, generally microscopic, hair-like processes of a cell or other part or organ of the body, or of an entire organism, permanently growing upon and projecting from a free surface, capable of active vibratile or ciliary movement, producing currents in surrounding media, as air or water, and thus serving as organs of ingestion or egestion, prehension, locomotion, etc.
  • n. In botany: In mosses, one of the hair-like processes within the peristome.
  • n. One of the microscopic hair-like appendages which are often present upon the reproductive bodies, such as antherozoids and zoospores of cryptogams. They are frequently two in number and vibrate with great rapidity, producing locomotion.
  • n. In entomology, a hair set with others; a fringe, like eyelashes, generally on the leg or margins of the wings of insects.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms
  • n. any of the short curved hairs that grow from the edges of the eyelids

Etymologies

Latin, eyelid; see kel-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The cilium is an elegant molecular machine that powers the swimming of cells as diverse as sperm and pond algae.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • Unlike the tower of Iacocca Hall, the cilium is a dynamic structure, in which many of its protein parts are actively altered in response to changing internal and external conditions.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • Many proteins of the eukaryotic flagellum also called a cilium or undulipodium are known to be dispensable, because functional swimming flagella that lack these proteins are known to exist.

    New Scientist Investigates the Biologic Institute - The Panda's Thumb

  • In Darwin’s Black Box, I discussed large cellular structures called the cilium and the flagellum, both of which help cells move around in liquid, acting like propellers.

    The Edge of Evolution

  • It is a mathematical impossibility, for example, that all 30 to 40 parts of the cell's flagellum -- forget the 200 parts of the cilium!

    Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.: Ann Coulter's Big Idea: Let's Return To The Good Old Days

  • Zimmer goes on to provide a reference to the specific structures Coulter claims could not possibly have evolved: "To see what scientists are actually saying, you can start by reading this review that presents a detailed hypothesis about the incremental evolution of the flagellum and the cilium, based on actual experiments."

    Michael Zimmerman, Ph.D.: Ann Coulter's Big Idea: Let's Return To The Good Old Days

  • An important point, and one that he continually makes in the book, is that the systems he writes about are known to a very precise degree … i.e. the molecules and proteins and their interactions and sequencing, for example, of the blood clotting system, immunology, the cilium, etc., are well known, so his inference is based on evidence.

    Behe, Common Descent, & UD

  • The ball is across the goal because of what his project does deal with; IC, the BF, the cilium, The Edge Of Evolution, etc.

    Behe, Common Descent, & UD

  • Until the second day, the only form of animal life we saw was a kind of black worm fingersized, with hundreds of cilium legs like the bristles of a brush.

    The Forever War

  • Until the second day, the only form of animal life we saw was a kind of black worm, fingersized, with hundreds of cilium legs like the bristles of a brush.

    The Forever War

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