- Astron. any of the short-lived, bright, dense gas jets continuously spurting up through the chromosphere of the sun: thought to be extensions of the photosphere's granules
- Bot. a small spike; spikelet
- Zool. a small, hard, needlelike piece or process, esp. of bony or calcareous material, as in the skeleton of the sponge
Origin of spicule; from Modern Latin and amp; L: Modern Latin spicula ; from ML, head of a lance or arrow ; from Classical Latin spiculum, diminutive of spica, a point, ear, spike
nounpl. spic·ules also spic·u·lae
- A small needlelike structure or part, such as one of the silicate or calcium carbonate processes supporting the soft tissue of certain invertebrates, especially sponges.
- Astronomy A spike-shaped formation emanating from the ionized gas of the solar photosphere.
Origin of spiculeLatin sp&imacron;culum; see spiculum.
- spic′u·lar , spic′u·late