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

  • n. Plural of cilium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Irregular plural form of cilium.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The eyelashes.
  • Small, generally microscopic, vibrating appendages lining certain organs, as the air passages of the higher animals, and in the lower animals often covering also the whole or a part of the exterior. They are also found on some vegetable organisms. In the Infusoria, and many larval forms, they are locomotive organs.
  • Hairlike processes, commonly marginal and forming a fringe like the eyelash.
  • Small, vibratory, swimming organs, somewhat resembling true cilia, as those of Ctenophora.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Plural of cilium.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Hamada showed hair-like projections on the embryo called cilia produce a leftward flow of fluid outside the embryo, allowing the embryo to identify its left side.

    The Money Times - finance news, lifestyle, markets, investment, personal finance, banking, retirement planning

  • Mutations impede the flow of chloride, causing the mucus to accumulate and impeding the hair-like particles called cilia from beating back and forth to clear out the mucus.

    Gene Discovery Was Only First Step

  • For one, the trachea is lined with millions of tiny hairs called cilia that trap any gunk you might have breathed in.

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  • The amount of water in the body generally decreases with age, which in turn decreases the action of tiny hairs, called cilia, in the nose that help wash it out.

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  • Each breath passes through or over lymph tissue and millions of hair like projections called cilia that filter, re-filter and remove any particles that may damage the lungs.

    The Respiratory System: Anatomy 101

  • It is, in fact, a minute oval body, many hundred times smaller than the full grown creature, and it swims about with great activity by the help of multitudes of little hair-like filaments, called cilia, with which its body is covered.

    Autobiography and Selected Essays

  • Delicate, hair-like filaments, not unlike the pile on velvet, called cilia, spring from the epithelial lining of the air tubes.

    A Practical Physiology

  • The ciliated epithelium is marked by the presence of very fine hair-like processes called cilia, which develop from the free end of the cell and exhibit a rapid whip-like movement as long as the cell is alive.

    A Practical Physiology

  • They consist of a gelatinous material enclosed in a delicate membrane, the whole or part of which is furnished with short vibrating hairs (called cilia), by means of which the animalcules swim through the water or convey the minute particles of their food to the orifice of the mouth.

    Glossary of the Principal Scientific Terms Used in the Present Volume

  • In the inferior zoophytes — such as the Infusoria, Polypi, Medusæ — the whole body seems to exhibit an incessant action upon the surrounding fluid, maintained by means of “very minute and generally microscopic filaments” called cilia, and which apparently serve in the case of these genera not only the purpose of progressive motion, but also of respiration, and of procuring a supply of food.

    Theism: The Witness of Reason and Nature to an All-Wise and Beneficent Creator.


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  • There's also the old song "To Celia" by Ben Jonson ("Drink to me only with thine eyes, and I will pledge with mine").

    November 9, 2011

  • Citation on velium.

    December 24, 2008

  • I really wanted to leave a snarky comment when I saw the first post, but you guys seem to have handled it pretty nicely.

    October 16, 2007

  • I'm going to add Cilla to my list of favourite people names. Thanks, skipvia. :)

    October 16, 2007

  • I think I knew a Celia once, if that helps.

    October 16, 2007

  • Haven't seen kalvin posting in a while....

    October 15, 2007

  • I'm not in favor of Cilla. It sounds to me like Scylla!

    That list is pretty neat! Is kalvin still around? I wonder if he/she would like to add to it. Of course nothing's stopping another Wordie from starting his/her own similar list...

    October 15, 2007

  • Thanks, rt!

    Hmmm... Some of them I can see, like bed (cool!), but others.... I'm gonna need some help.

    October 15, 2007

  • I offer a compromise: Cilla, a shortened form of Priscilla. Here I'm thinking of Cilla Black, a Beatles-era vocalist.

    October 15, 2007

  • Someone did start a list like that way back when....

    Found it. Here you go.

    October 15, 2007

  • Hmmm.... is there a word for visual onomatopoeia? "Cilia" kinda looks like what it means, at least in the middle....

    October 15, 2007

  • And everyone else, npydyuan!

    I like "Celia" too. Nice name. Except for the damned earworm. ;-)

    October 15, 2007

  • I don't like Celia the way that I like cilia, though. And while I like Cecilia, I like it for a completely different reason. I think it's all the little i's and l's that are so pretty (and onomatopoeic, actually.)

    October 15, 2007

  • I like the name Celia.

    October 15, 2007

  • Oh man, I just gave myself a SImon & Garfunkel-related earworm!

    October 15, 2007

  • Cilia! You're breakin my heart! You're shakin my confidence daily....!

    October 15, 2007

  • I've always thought "cilia" would be a beautiful name for a girl-- if it didn't bring protozoa to mind.

    October 15, 2007