WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2020
cil•i•a  (silē ə),USA pronunciation n.pl., sing.  cil•i•um 
    (silē ə),USA pronunciation 
  1. Botany[Biol.]minute hairlike organelles, identical in structure to flagella, that line the surfaces of certain cells and beat in rhythmic waves, providing locomotion to ciliate protozoans and moving liquids along internal epithelial tissue in animals. See diag. under  paramecium. 
  2. Anatomythe eyelashes.
  • 1705–15; Neo-Latin, plural of cilium eyelash, Latin: upper eyelid, perh. a back formation from supercilium eyebrow; see supercilium

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