One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Needle-shaped, acicular. Also: (a) covered with or bearing aciculae; (b) marked as if scratched with a needle (rare).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in William Macgillivray (1796–1852), ornithologist and natural historian. From acicula + -ate, originally after French aciculé. Compare scientific Latin aciculatus.
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