Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[raj-oo-luh] /ˈrædʒ ʊ lə/
noun, plural radulae
[raj-oo-lee] /ˈrædʒ ʊˌli/ (Show IPA)
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; < New Latin rādula, Latin: scraper, equivalent to rād(ere) to scrape, rub + -ula -ule
Related forms
radular, adjective
subradular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for radulae


noun (pl) -lae (-ˌliː)
a horny tooth-bearing strip on the tongue of molluscs that is used for rasping food
Derived Forms
radular, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Late Latin: a scraping iron, from Latin rādere to scrape
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for radulae



surgical instrument, 1753, from Latin radula "scraper, scraping iron," from radere "to scrape" (see raze). Related: Radular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for radulae


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
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for radula

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for radulae

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for radulae