Definition of villus in English:



  • 1Anatomy
    Any of numerous minute elongated projections set closely together on a surface, typically increasing its surface area for the absorption of substances, in particular.

    • ‘And the tiny hair-like projections on the cells - the villi (VIL-li) - shrink and may even disappear.’
    • ‘Nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine through microscopically elongated villi.’
    • ‘The tissue is sent to the laboratory where the fetal villi are dissected from the maternal decidua and either processed directly or cultured for chromosomal, DNA or biochemical analysis.’
    • ‘Mutants were observed as non-staining ribbons on the surface of the villus.’
    • ‘The black stained villus projections are probably due to chronic smoke inhalation.’
    • ‘Taste is determined on the tongue by tiny projections, called villi, which are able to sense relative proportions of the four tastes: salt, sour, yucky and Frosties.’
    • ‘Microscopic examination demonstrated hydropic degenerated villi with a circumferential trophoblastic cell proliferation and moderate atypia, consistent with a complete hydatidiform mole.’
    • ‘Afterwards the samples were stained with haematoxylin-eosin to evaluate the number of villi, villous height and mucosal thickness and with PAS to identify mucous containing cells.’
    • ‘At this stage it is more or less spherical and covered with villi (frond-like protrusions); these provide a large surface area for exchange of gases, nutrients, water and waste with the maternal blood.’
    • ‘The colon can be identified by its size and the absence of mucosal folds and villi; the inner surface is smooth.’
    1. 1.1 A fingerlike projection of the lining of the small intestine.
      • ‘Although digestive enzymes are produced by the pancreas, the tips of the villi in the small intestine also contain digestive enzymes.’
      • ‘Gluten sets off an auto-immune reaction in Coeliacs which causes a flattening of the hair-like villi in the mucosa of the small intestine and stops food being absorbed properly.’
      • ‘These results suggest that villus atrophy in the small intestine is induced by C. parvum.’
      • ‘The protein causes an immunological reaction in the small intestine, resulting in the disintegration of the finger-like villi that facilitate the absorption of nutrients.’
      • ‘Clusters of tumor cells were found within the lymphatic vessels in the intestinal villi and also running along the superficial submucosa.’
      • ‘The small intestine is approximately 20 feet long and lined with millions of tiny villi that are like fingers or projections that have the primary responsibility for the absorption of nutrients.’
      • ‘Esem reveals the extrusion of lipid droplets largely from enterocytes at the villus tips predominately for the proximal small intestine.’
      • ‘They are absorbed by the villi of the small intestine and carried by the portal vein to the liver.’
      • ‘The inner wall of the small intestine is covered with millions of microscopic, finger-like projections called villi.’
      • ‘The light microscopy of intestinal tissue in 30 day old pups showed that goblet cells were not well formed, luminal part of the villi was damaged with a portion shredded off in the lumen with necrosis.’
      • ‘Feathery threadlike intestinal absorptive villi change to club-shaped poorly functional absorpters.’
      • ‘In exchange for our walking around, finding interesting food and chucking it down our throats to feed to them, they will take that food and turn it into something that we can digest with the villi in our intestines.’
      • ‘Under the assault, that stretch of the digestive tract becomes inflamed and loses the fingerlike projections, or villi, that normally provide a vast surface area for absorbing digested nutrients.’
      • ‘Without villi, you can't absorb nutrients from food.’
      • ‘The collateral damage of this attack includes the villi - tiny, hair-like projections that absorb nutrients.’
      • ‘So it stands to reason that when the membranes are damaged and the villi atrophied, nutrient absorption is reduced.’
      • ‘The inner lining of the large intestine lacks the villi that characterize the small intestine.’
      • ‘Combined with a positive EMA confers a 99-percent chance of flattened intestinal mucosal villi.’
      • ‘The lining of the small intestine is folded into finger-like projections, the villi, and deeper glands, the crypts.’
      • ‘One might speculate that defined formula diets at least maintained the number of villi per cm of ileum.’
    2. 1.2 A fold of the chorion.
      • ‘Even now we can diagnose many genetic diseases by amniocentesis and chorionic villus samples, but most of these cannot be cured.’
      • ‘Chorionic villus sampling is a test available to all pregnant women.’
      • ‘Placenta accreta is characterized by the presence of chorionic villi adjacent or adherent to myometrium, without gross or microscopic invasion of the villi into muscle wall.’
      • ‘Chorionic villus sampling - tests a sample of the placenta, taken with a needle inserted through the abdomen or via the cervix.’
      • ‘Usually, the placenta has 15 to 28 cotyledons that also contain chorionic villi and intervillous space.’
      • ‘Amniotic fluid, chorionic villi, or fetal serum can be tested for evidence of West Nile virus infection.’
      • ‘Placenta increta is the invasion of the myometrium by chorionic villi.’
      • ‘Chorionic villus sampling is usually performed between 10 and 12 weeks gestation.’
      • ‘Chorionic villus sampling allows a very early diagnosis of serious genetic disorders.’
      • ‘If chorionic villi are not detected, ectopic pregnancy should be suspected.’
  • 2Botany
    [(usually in plural)] A long slender hair.

    • ‘The formation of the attaching filaments and villi on the surface of the oocyte of Oryzias latipes were studied electron-microscopically.’
    • ‘All details of her woodcarvings, even the villi, or small hairs on the stem of each plant, are done by hand with a knife.’


Early 18th century: from Latin, literally shaggy hair.