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

  • n. Any small columnlike structure in various plants and animals, often forming the central axis of development for the organism or an anatomical structure.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of various small structures in plants or animals that are columnar in shape.
  • n. The skin at the end of the septum which separates the nostrils.
  • n. In birds, reptiles, and amphibians, the small bone which carries vibration from the tympanum to the inner ear.
  • n. In gastropods, the structure at the center of the whorls of the shell.
  • n. The structure at the center of the calyx where the septa join together.
  • n. The central sterile portion of the sporangium in various fungi.
  • n. A rod-shaped reinforcing element of the sexine layer of a pollen grain.


Latin, diminutive of columna, column; see column.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin columella ("small column"). (Wiktionary)



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