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1[mass noun] The thin tissue forming the outer layer of a body's surface and lining the alimentary canal and other hollow structures.
- ‘Each tonsil has an irregular number of ingrowths of the surface epithelium known as tonsillar crypts.’
- ‘Breakdown of the corneal epithelium increases the risk of stromal surface infection.’
- ‘The lining epithelium was often eroded, and the underlying stroma showed dense infiltration by inflammatory cells.’
- ‘Eighty-five percent of human ovarian tumors arise from the epithelium or surface layer of tissue that surrounds the ovaries.’
- ‘A flattened layer of epithelium was seen lining the cyst in certain areas.’
- 1.1The part of the epithelium derived from embryonic ectoderm and endoderm, as distinct from endothelium and mesothelium.
Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from epi- ‘above’ + Greek thēlē teat.
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