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n. pl. pi·li (-lī′)
A hair or hairlike structure, especially a proteinaceous structure projecting from the surface of a bacterium that is smaller than a flagellum and functions in DNA transfer during conjugation and, usually with other such structures, in adhesion.



(ˈpaɪ ləs)

n., pl. -li (-lī).
a hair or hairlike structure.
[1955–60; < Latin]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.pilus - any of the cylindrical filaments characteristically growing from the epidermis of a mammal; "there is a hair in my soup"
mammal, mammalian - any warm-blooded vertebrate having the skin more or less covered with hair; young are born alive except for the small subclass of monotremes and nourished with milk
filum, filament - a threadlike structure (as a chainlike series of cells)
ingrown hair - a hair that does not emerge from the follicle but remains embedded in the skin (usually causing inflammation)
2.pilus - hairlike structure especially on the surface of a cell or microorganism
microorganism, micro-organism - any organism of microscopic size
hair - a filamentous projection or process on an organism
References in periodicals archive ?
We related functional annotations (Gene Ontology, GO) of the proteins that are encoded by the mutated genes to quantitative amounts and found that the GO that relates to 'pyruvate catabolic process' was significant if GOs that related to the type I fimbrium were omitted.