The hila (sense 1) of black-eyed peas

Alternative formsEdit


From Latin hīlum (a trifle; a spot on a seed).


  • IPA(key): /ˈhaɪ.ləm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪləm
  • Hyphenation: hi‧lum


hilum (plural hila)

  1. (botany) The eye of a bean or other seed; the mark or scar at the point of attachment of an ovule or seed to its base or support.
    • 1913, Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, volume III, Washington, D.C.: Washington Academy of Sciences, ISSN 0043-0439, OCLC 1769417, page 141:
      The hilum is very prominent in some species and nearly flat in others.
    • 2005, David Feldman, Do Elephants Jump? (Imponderables Book), New York, N.Y.: HarperCollins Publishers, →ISBN, page 24:
      On the tip of each corn kernel is a hilum, collectively known as the "black layer," where it is attached to the cob. While corn is growing, nutrients are being transferred from the rest of the cob to the kernels through the hilum.
  2. (botany) The nucleus of a starch grain.
    • 1916, William Mansfield, Histology of Medicinal Plants, New York, N.Y.: John Wiley & Sons, OCLC 1164403, page 188:
      In central hilum starch grains the grain is laid down around the hilum in the form of concentric layers.
  3. (anatomy) A depression or fissure through which ducts, nerves, or blood vessels enter and leave a gland or organ; a porta.
    • 1998, R[obert] M[atthew] H[ay] McMinn; R. T. Hutchings; B. M. Logan, “Abdomen”, in The Concise Handbook of Human Anatomy, London: Manson Publishing, →ISBN, pages 144–145:
      [The pancreas] is a hook-shaped gland, about 15 cm long, that lies transversely across the upper abdomen, with the head in the C-shaped curve of the duodenum [], extending to the left as the body behind the stomach and ending as the tail lying against the hilum of the spleen.
    • 2010, Benoît Ghaye, “Imaging of Hila and Pulmonary Vessels”, in Emmanuel E. Coche, Benoît Ghaye, Johan De Mey, and Philippe Duyck, editors, Comparative Interpretation of CT and Standard Radiography of the Chest, Heidelberg: Springer, DOI:10.1007/978-3-540-79942-9, →ISBN, page 166:
      The shadows of the hila on chest X-ray are mainly formed by the pulmonary arteries (PAs) and some of their main branches and the upper pulmonary veins (PVs).
    • 2010, W. Richard Webb; Charles B. Higgins, Thoracic Imaging: Pulmonary and Cardiovascular Radiology, 2nd edition, Philadelphia, Pa.; London: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, →ISBN, page 161:
      In the large majority of normal patients, the hila appear equal in size on frontal radiographs; comparison of the two hila is helpful in patients with a unilateral abnormality.


Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit



Unknown,[1] possibly from a Semitic source, or a variant of filum (thread) if the original sense was "little thread, fiber."[2]



hīlum n (genitive hīlī); second declension

  1. trifle
  2. (in the negative) not a whit, not in the least


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative hīlum hīla
Genitive hīlī hīlōrum
Dative hīlō hīlīs
Accusative hīlum hīla
Ablative hīlō hīlīs
Vocative hīlum hīla


  • Catalan: hílum
  • English: hilum, hilus
  • French: hile
  • German: Hilum
  • Italian: ilo
  • Portuguese: hilo
  • Spanish: hilio


  • hilum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • hilum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • hilum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • hilum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • hilum in Ramminger, Johann (accessed 16 July 2016) Neulateinische Wortliste: Ein Wörterbuch des Lateinischen von Petrarca bis 1700[2], pre-publication website, 2005-2016
  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7)‎[1], Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN
  2. ^ Roberts, Edward A. (2014) A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Spanish Language with Families of Words based on Indo-European Roots, Xlibris Corporation, →ISBN