noun, plural vil·li [vil-ahy] /ˈvɪl aɪ/.

  1. Anatomy, Zoology. one of the minute, wormlike processes on certain membranes, especially on the mucous membrane of the small intestine, where they serve in absorbing nutriment.
  2. Botany. one of the long, soft, straight hairs covering the fruit, flowers, and other parts of certain plants.

noun plural villi (ˈvɪlaɪ) (usually plural)

  1. zoology anatomy any of the numerous finger-like projections of the mucous membrane lining the small intestine of many vertebrates
  2. any similar membranous process, such as any of those in the mammalian placenta
  3. botany any of various hairlike outgrowths, as from the stem of a moss

1704, plural villi, from Latin villus “tuft of hair, shaggy hair” (see velvet).

n. pl. vil•li (vĭlī)

  1. A minute projection arising from a mucous membrane, especially one of the vascular projections of the small intestine.
  2. Such a projection of the chorion that contributes to placental formation in mammals.

Plural villi (vĭlī)

  1. A small projection on the surface of a mucous membrane, such as that of the small intestine.

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