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Pronunciation: sil'e-ar'e


  1. Relating to cilia found widely in the animal kingdom from single-cell to more complex organisms and serving various motile and sensory functions.
  2. Relating to any cilia or hairlike process, specifically the eyelashes; other ciliary structures are located on type I and II hair cells of the maculae of the inner ear, on hair cells of the organ of Corti, and on ciliated columnar epithelium of respiratory tract.
  3. Relating to certain structures of the eyeball (ciliary body, ciliary muscle, ciliary process, anterior ciliary vein).
  4. Relating to the cilia of the pseudostratified columnar cells of the respiratory tract from the nose to the alveoli. Their synchronized beating moves the blanket of mucus overlying the respiratory epithelium. see mucociliary clearance. Viral and bacterial infections and environmental pollutants impair ciliary function. Genetic disorders causing anomalies of the dynein arms of cilia result in ciliary dyskinesia, Kartagener syndrome.
  5. Relating to cilia of the uterine tubes.
  6. Relating to the cilia of the olfactory receptor cells that containe the olfactory receptors. Agenesis results in anosmia, Kallmann syndrome.
  7. Relating to motile protoplasmic extensions of some cells.

[Mod. L. ciliaris, relating to or resembling an eyelid, or eyelash, fr. L. cilium, eyelid (together with the eyelashes)]

See Also: cilium

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.