Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun 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.
  • noun Astronomy A spike-shaped formation emanating from the ionized gas of the solar photosphere.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In botany, the empty frustule of a diatom.
  • noun A fine-pointed body resembling a needle: as, ice -spicules.
  • noun In botany:
  • noun A spikelet.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Latin spīculum; see spiculum.]

Examples

  • But now, as he threaded his way down, that flicker of light was the faint spicule of a star that burned with the hot roar of a nova.

    Wild Dreams of Reality, 5

  • The sea urchin larval spicule is a model system for biominerals, and the first one in which the amorphous calcium carbonate precursor was discovered in 1997 by the same Israeli group co-authoring the current PNAS paper.

    Sea Urchin Hold Secret of Biomineralization

  • The sea urchin larval spicule is a model system for biominerals, and the first one in which the amorphous calcium carbonate precursor was discovered in 1997 by the same Israeli group co-authoring the current PNAS paper.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely… but not this thing.

    RIHANNSU #3: SWORDHUNT

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely…but not this thing.

    Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely… but not this thing.

    RIHANNSU #3: SWORDHUNT

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely…but not this thing.

    Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely…but not this thing.

    Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages

  • Any spicule, any prominence, would long since have either fallen back into the chromosphere, or blown away entirely… but not this thing.

    RIHANNSU #3: SWORDHUNT

  • The ice storm was no longer the gusting, swirling fog of that morning but a driving wall of stiletto-tipped spears, near-lethal in its ferocity, highspeed ice-spicule lances that would have skewered their way through the thickest cardboard or shattered in a second a glass held in your hand.

    Ice Station Zebra

Comments

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  • 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

  • "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