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[gran-yool] /ˈgræn yul/
a little grain.
a small particle; pellet.
a corpuscle; sporule.
1645-55; < Late Latin grānulum small grain. See grain, -ule
Can be confused Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for granules
  • So precious was the commodity that a medieval burgher could only afford to consume one teaspoon of the sweet granules per year.
  • If you add the sugar too fast, the granules won't dissolve and the bubbles will be uneven.
  • These tiny granules absorb water that would otherwise drain away.
  • The filter's granules have probably reached the end of their natural life.
  • As the gas reacts with the seawater, the sulfur granules turn the water a murky shade of green that can be seen from satellites.
  • They are designed with special granules that make them more reflective than standard asphalt, so they absorb less heat.
  • Clumps and granules consisting of multiple different species form spontaneously in many interesting environments.
  • The last common ancestor of both people and bacteria might have had these little granules for storing calcium and phosphate.
  • The company addressed this problem by embedding zinc granules within a conductive polymer.
  • With the yeast water, the pairs of minute granules are distributed throughout the liquid, which is uniformly clouded.
British Dictionary definitions for granules


a small grain
(geology) a single rock fragment in gravel, smaller than a pebble but larger than a sand grain
(astronomy) another name for granulation (sense 5)
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin grānulum a small grain
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 granules



1650s, from French granule or directly from Late Latin granulum "small grain," diminutive of Latin granum "grain" (see corn (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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granules in Medicine

granule gran·ule (grān'yōōl)

  1. A small grain or pellet; a particle.

  2. A cellular or cytoplasmic particle, especially one that stains readily.

  3. A very small pill, usually coated with gelatin or sugar.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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granules in Science
  1. A rock or mineral fragment larger than a sand grain and smaller than a pebble. Granules have a diameter between 2 and 4 mm (0.08 and 0.16 in) and are often rounded.

  2. Any of the small, transient convective cells within the Sun's photosphere where hot gases rise and quickly dissipate. Granules are generally between a few hundred and 1,500 km in width. They completely cover the Sun's surface, giving it its characteristic grainy or stippled look, and form and break up within a matter of minutes.

  3. An aggregate of enclosed grainy matter found in a cell. Granulocytes, mast cells and other cells contain granules in their cytoplasm, which differ in size and can often be identified by a characteristic laboratory stain based on their composition. Granules produce and store biologically active substances, the release of which is called degranulation. The granules of granulocytes contain mostly multiple enzymes and other proteins; those of mast cells contain histamine and other chemical mediators.

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