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[skwey-muh s] /ˈskweɪ məs/
covered with or formed of squamae or scales.
Also, squamosal, squamose
[skwey-mohs, skwuh-mohs] /ˈskweɪ moʊs, skwəˈmoʊs/ (Show IPA)
Origin of squamous
1535-45; < Latin squāmōsus. See squama, -ous
Related forms
squamously, squamosely, adverb
squamousness, squamoseness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for squamous
  • It is lined by stratified squamous epithelium, which becomes transitional near the bladder.
  • The epithelium covering the mucous membrane is of the stratified squamous variety.
  • Invasive squamous cell carcinoma in epithelial tissue from a human mouth.
  • squamous-cell carcinomas generally appear as raised, pinkish scaly patches.
  • It's a candy store for hypochondriacs, where a sniffle can spell pneumococcal, an itch can mean squamous carcinoma.
  • It protects us from blistering sunburn, keeps our skin from wrinkling and helps guard against squamous cell cancer.
  • Most basal and squamous cell cancers are treated with surgery or radiation.
  • squamous cell carcinoma represents the large majority of all cervical cancers.
  • There are two types of cells on the cervix's surface: squamous and columnar.
  • squamous cell cancer of the skin may rarely be staged in people who have a high risk of the cancer spreading.
British Dictionary definitions for squamous


adjective (biology)
(of epithelium) consisting of one or more layers of flat platelike cells
covered with, formed of, or resembling scales
Derived Forms
squamously, squamosely, adverb
squamousness, squamoseness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin squāmōsus, from squāma a scale
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 squamous

1540s, from Latin squamosus "covered with scales, scaly," from squama "scale," perhaps related to squalus "foul, filthy" (see squalid). Middle English had squame (late 14c.) "a scale," from Old French esquame, from Latin squama.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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squamous in Medicine

squamous squa·mous (skwā'məs, skwä'-) or squa·mose (-mōs')

  1. Covered with or formed of scales; scaly.

  2. Resembling a scale or scales; thin and flat.

  3. Squamosal.

squa'mous·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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