Meaning of areola in English:


Pronunciation /əˈriːələ/

See synonyms for areola on

nounplural noun areolae/əˈriːəliː/

  • 1Anatomy
    A small circular area, in particular the ring of pigmented skin surrounding a nipple.

    ‘They are encircled by a pigmented ring called the areola, and surrounded by nerve endings and blood vessels.’
    • ‘Most of the breast tissue in a man is concentrated in the area immediately behind the nipple and areola.’
    • ‘As reported in The Journal of Family Practice, a patient complained of itching that had lasted for about six months in and near an areola, but a clinical examination turned up no skin changes or other reason for the itching.’
    • ‘Microscopically, variably sized cystic spaces were observed near the nipple, just adjacent to the mammary duct expanding beneath the areola.’
    • ‘The areola contains softer and darker skin tissue which surrounds the nipple and which also contains smooth muscle fibers.’
    1. 1.1Biology Any of the small spaces between lines or cracks on a leaf or an insect's wing.
      ‘On the valve surface the areolae are grouped together in fascicles bordered by distinct radial lines.’
      • ‘The areolae on the valve are usually too small to be distinguishable with the light microscope.’
      • ‘The cell surface is ornamented with pores or areolae with poroid centers, sometimes in species-specific patterns.’
      • ‘Cambarus spp. in the Northeast have no lateral spines on their rostra and the Procambarus spp. in the area have a narrow or obliterated areola.’
    2. 1.2Medicine A reddened patch around a spot or papule.


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘small space or interstice’): from Latin, literally ‘small open space’, diminutive of area (see area).