Definition of Cilia

Cilia: The fine hairlike projections from certain cells such as those in the respiratory tract that sweep in unison and help to sweep away fluids and particles. Some single-celled organisms use the rhythmical motion of cilia for locomotion.

Cilia is the plural of cilium, a Latin word referring to the edge of the eyelid and, much later, to the eyelashes. Cilia came to be known fine hairlike projections from cells.


Last Editorial Review: 9/20/2012

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