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[noj-ool] /ˈnɒdʒ ul/
a small node, knot, or knob.
a small, rounded mass or lump.
Botany. a tubercle.
1590-1600; < Latin nōdulus a little knot, equivalent to nōd(us) node + -ulus -ule Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nodules
  • But despite millions of dollars of investment, the commercial extraction of manganese nodules never became reality.
  • During such an infection, inflamed nodules within the membranes create pressure on the bone surface, leaving the lesions.
  • Little nodules of calcium form in this gland and then go to the gizzard and help grind up food.
  • From afar, it is a single block of plastic with nodules on the top.
  • These are the guys who have weird little die-cut metal nodules instead of keypads.
  • Tender, bright red, slightly elevated nodules develop along the shins.
  • They have received their name from the fact that they are surrounded by minute nodules or globules of dentin.
  • Thyroid nodules are growths of cells in the thyroid gland.
  • Toxic nodular goiter involves an enlarged thyroid gland that contains a small rounded growth or growths called nodules.
  • Patients with thyroid cancer typically need surgery to remove the malignant nodules.
British Dictionary definitions for nodules


a small knot, lump, or node
Also called root nodule. any of the knoblike outgrowths on the roots of clover and many other legumes: contain bacteria involved in nitrogen fixation
(anatomy) any small node or knoblike protuberance
a small rounded lump of rock or mineral substance, esp in a matrix of different rock material
Derived Forms
nodular, nodulose, nodulous, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin nōdulus, from nōdus knot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nodules



early 15c., from Latin nodulus "small knot," diminutive of nodus "knot" (see net (n.)). Related: Nodulated; nodulous; nodulation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nodules in Medicine

nodule nod·ule (nŏj'ōōl)

  1. A small node.

  2. A small mass of tissue or aggregation of cells.

nod'u·lar (nŏj'ə-lər) or nod'u·lose' (-lōs') or nod'u·lous (-ləs) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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nodules in Science
  1. A small, usually hard mass of tissue in the body.

  2. A small, knoblike outgrowth found on the roots of many legumes, such as alfalfa, beans, and peas. Nodules grow after the roots have been infected with nitrogen-fixing bacteria of the genus Rhizobium. See more at legume.

  3. A small, rounded lump of a mineral or mixture of minerals that is distinct from and usually harder than the surrounding rock or sediment. Nodules often form by replacement of a small part of the rocks in which they form.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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