Let's Compare Cilia and Pili


A cilium (Latin for eyelash; the plural is cilia) is an organelle found in eukaryotic cells. Cilia are slender protuberances that project from the much larger cell body.

cilium n 1: a hairlike projection from the surface of a cell; provides locomotion in free-swimming unicellular organisms 2: any of the short curved hairs that grow from the edges of the eyelids [syn: {eyelash}, {lash}] [also: {cilia} (pl)]

cilia See {cilium}

26 Moby Thesaurus words for "cilia": Golgi apparatus, aster, basal body, cell membrane, central apparatus, central body, centriole, centroplasm, centrosome, centrosphere, chloroplast, chromoplast, cytocentrum, flagella, kinoplasm, microbody, microcentrum, mitochondrion, pili, plasmodesmata, plastid, plastosome, ribosome, spherosome, spindle fibers, vacuole

Cilia \Cil"i*a\, n. pl. {Cilium}, the sing., is rarely used. [L. cilium eyelid.] 1. (Anat.) The eyelashes. [1913 Webster] 2. (Biol.) Small, generally microscopic, vibrating appendages lining certain organs, as the air passages of the higher animals, and in the lower animals often covering also the whole or a part of the exterior. They are also found on some vegetable organisms. In the Infusoria, and many larval forms, they are locomotive organs. [1913 Webster] 3. (Bot.) Hairlike processes, commonly marginal and forming a fringe like the eyelash. [1913 Webster] 4. (Zo["o]l.) Small, vibratory, swimming organs, somewhat resembling true cilia, as those of Ctenophora. [1913 Webster]


Pili may refer to:

PIL/I Variant of JOSS. Sammet 1969, p.217.

Data Sources:

  • cilia: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • cilia: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • cilia: Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0
  • cilia: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • pili: The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (27 SEP 03)

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