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[hahy-luh m] /ˈhaɪ ləm/
noun, plural hila
[hahy-luh] /ˈhaɪ lə/ (Show IPA)
  1. the mark or scar on a seed produced by separation from its funicle or placenta.
  2. the nucleus of a granule of starch.
Mycology. a mark or scar on a spore at the point of attachment to the spore-bearing structure.
Anatomy. the region at which the vessels, nerves, etc., enter or emerge from a part.
1650-60; < Neo-Latin; Latin: little thing, trifle; see nil
Related forms
hilar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hilum
  • It presents near its medial border a long fissure, termed the hilum.
  • The hilum is a depression on the mediastinal surface of the lung where the bronchus, blood vessels, and nerves enter the lungs.
  • It is roughly bean-shaped with an indentation, called the hilum, on the medial side.
British Dictionary definitions for hilum


noun (pl) -la (-lə)
  1. a scar on the surface of a seed marking its point of attachment to the seed stalk (funicle)
  2. the nucleus of a starch grain
a deep fissure or depression on the surface of a bodily organ around the point of entrance or exit of vessels, nerves, or ducts
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: trifle; see nihil
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 hilum

Latin, literally "little thing, shred, trifle." Related: Hilar.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hilum in Medicine

hilum hi·lum (hī'ləm)
n. pl. hi·la (-lə)
A depression or slit-like opening through which nerves, ducts, or blood vessels enter and leave in an organ or a gland. Also called porta.

hi'lar (-lər) 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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hilum in Science
Plural hila
  1. A mark or scar on a seed, such as a bean, showing where it was formerly attached to the plant. The hilum indicates the point of attachment of the funiculus.

  2. A depression or opening through which nerves, ducts, or blood vessels pass in an organ or a gland, as in the medial aspect of the lungs or the kidneys .

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