Definition of villus in English:

villus

nounPlural villi

Anatomy
  • Any of the fingerlike or threadlike projections from the surface of certain membranous structures, typically serving to increase surface area and facilitate the passage of fluid or nutrients.

    • ‘Microscopic examination demonstrated hydropic degenerated villi with a circumferential trophoblastic cell proliferation and moderate atypia, consistent with a complete hydatidiform mole.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The colon can be identified by its size and the absence of mucosal folds and villi; the inner surface is smooth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mutants were observed as non-staining ribbons on the surface of the villus.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The black stained villus projections are probably due to chronic smoke inhalation.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

villus

/ˈvɪləs/