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

  • n. A small nipplelike projection, such as a protuberance on the skin, at the root of a hair or feather, or at the base of a developing tooth.
  • n. One of the small, round or cone-shaped protuberances on the top of the tongue that contain taste buds.
  • n. A pimple or pustule.
  • n. Botany A minute projection on the surface of a stigma, petal, or leaf.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A nipple-like anatomical structure.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any minute nipplelike projection.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pap, teat, or nipple of a mammary gland; a mammilla.
  • n. Hence Something like a papilla; a papilliform part or process.

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

  • n. (botany) a tiny outgrowth on the surface of a petal or leaf
  • n. a small projection of tissue at the base of a hair or tooth or feather
  • n. a small nipple-shaped protuberance concerned with taste, touch, or smell


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

Latin, nipple, diminutive of papula, swelling, pimple.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Latin papilla ("nipple").


  • Each papilla consists of a projection of mucous membrane from 1 to 2 mm. wide, attached to the bottom of a circular depression of the mucous membrane; the margin of the depression is elevated to form a wall (vallum), and between this and the papilla is a circular sulcus termed the fossa.

    XI. Splanchnology. 2a. The Mouth

  • It is more common to meet with a condition in which the patient complains of severe burning or aching pain in the region of the foliate papilla, which is situated on the edge of the tongue just in front of the anterior pillar of the fauces.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition.

  • Three Random Words: la panosse (f) = floorcloth = passer la panosse = to mop the floor le monticule (m) = hillock, mound; heap la papille (f) = papilla = les papilles gustatives = taste buds

    French Word-A-Day:

  • The papilla, the white part of the kidney where urine is concentrated, is a target for these drugs; once the concentrating mechanism is damaged, protein and tissue are excreted in the urine.

    After the Diagnosis

  • It can be easily identified by its small size and absence of a papilla on the tongue.

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • Nourishment for the growing hair is derived from a dermal projection into the hair bulb called the papilla.

    Scientists Report Breakthrough in Cure for Baldness | Impact Lab

  • I have even seen parents who think the nasopalatine papilla the soft pink bump between the two front teeth is an extra tooth.

    Stem Cells From Baby Teeth

  • Taste buds are on the sides of these papillae and can taste chemicals that travel in saliva through the between-papilla grooves.

    Archive 2007-06-01

  • Really there was a papilla sense of relief coming from the president and his aides.

    CNN Transcript Nov 8, 2006

  • There is a complete system of blood vessels encircling every one of the follicles, and besides this each papilla has a special distribution of blood to itself.

    The Art of Living in Australia


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