noun, plural pa·pil·lae [puhpil-ee] /pəˈpɪl i/.

  1. any small, nipplelike process or projection.
  2. one of certain small protuberances concerned with the senses of touch, taste, and smell: the papillae of the tongue.
  3. a small vascular process at the root of a hair.
  4. a papule or pimple.

noun plural -lae (-liː)

  1. the small projection of tissue at the base of a hair, tooth, or feather
  2. any other similar protuberance
  3. any minute blunt hair or process occurring in plants

n.plural papillae, 1690s, “nipple,” from Latin papilla “nipple,” diminutive of papula “swelling” (see pap (n.2)). Meaning “nipple-like protuberance” attested from 1713. n. pl. pa•pil•lae (-pĭlē)

  1. A small nipplelike projection, such as a protuberance on the skin, at the root of a hair or feather, or at the base of a developing tooth.
  2. One of the small, round or cone-shaped protuberances on the top of the tongue that contain taste buds.
  3. A pimple or pustule.

Plural papillae (pə-pĭlē)

  1. A small part projecting from the surface of an organism. In mammals, the nipples of the mammary glands and the taste buds of the tongue are papillae. Papillae are often seen on the undersurfaces of mosses and ferns.
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