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

  • n. A small needlelike structure or part, such as one of the silicate or calcium carbonate processes supporting the soft tissue of certain invertebrates, especially sponges.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sharp, needle-like piece
  • n. Any of many needle-like crystalline structures that provide skeletal support in marine invertebrates like sponges
  • n. A jet of matter ejected from the photosphere of the sun
  • n. A small spike of flowers

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A minute, slender granule, or point.
  • n. Same as Spicula.
  • n. Any small calcareous or siliceous body found in the tissues of various invertebrate animals, especially in sponges and in most Alcyonaria.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fine-pointed body resembling a needle: as, ice -spicules.
  • n. In botany:
  • n. A spikelet.
  • n. One of the small projections or points on the basidia of hymenomycetous fungi which bear the spores. There are usually four to each basidium. See sterigma.
  • n. In zoology, a hard, sharp body like a little spike, straight or curved, rod-like, or branched, or diversiform; a spiculum; a sclere: variously applied, without special reference to size or Shape.
  • n. In botany, the empty frustule of a diatom.

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

  • n. small pointed structure serving as a skeletal element in various marine and freshwater invertebrates e.g. sponges and corals


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

Latin spīculum; see spiculum.



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  • "I remembered what Fergus had said, in answer to Jamie's instructions: 'I remember how this game is played.' So did I, and spicules of ice began to form in my blood."

    —Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (New York: Bantam Dell, 2005), 688

    February 3, 2010

  • NASA: 'Imagine a pipe as wide as a state and as long as half the Earth. Now imagine that this pipe is filled with hot gas moving 50,000 kilometers per hour. Further imagine that this pipe is not made of metal but a transparent magnetic field. You are envisioning just one of thousands of young spicules on the active Sun.'

    November 3, 2008