noun, plural hila [hahy-luh] .
the mark or scar on a seed produced by separation from its funicle or placenta.
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

hilar, adjective
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World English Dictionary
hilum (ˈhaɪləm)
n , pl -la
1.  botany
 a.  a scar on the surface of a seed marking its point of attachment to the seed stalk (funicle)
 b.  the nucleus of a starch grain
2.  a deep fissure or depression on the surface of a bodily organ around the point of entrance or exit of vessels, nerves, or ducts
[C17: from Latin: trifle; see nihil]

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
hilum   (hī'ləm)  Pronunciation Key 
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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Example sentences
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.
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