noun, plural radulae [raj-oo-lee] .
a chitinous band in the mouth of most mollusks, set with numerous, minute, horny teeth and drawn backward and forward over the floor of the mouth in the process of breaking up food.

1745–55; < Neo-Latin rādula, Latin: scraper, equivalent to rād(ere) to scrape, rub + -ula -ule

radular, adjective
subradular, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To radula
World English Dictionary
radula (ˈrædjʊlə)
n , pl -lae
a horny tooth-bearing strip on the tongue of molluscs that is used for rasping food
[C19: from Late Latin: a scraping iron, from Latin rādere to scrape]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


horny, ribbonlike structure found in the mouths of all mollusks except the bivalves. The radula, part of the odontophore, may be protruded, and it is used in drilling or in rasping food particles from a surface. It is supported by a cartilage-like mass and is covered with rows of many small teeth (denticles). New sections are constantly produced to replace those worn away at the front.

Learn more about radula with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Final familial placement must await the acquisition and study of the radula and soft pans of this new taxon.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature