Definition of areola in English:


See synonyms for areola on

nounplural noun areolae/-ˌlē/

  • 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 the veins on a leaf or the nervures on 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.



/əˈrēələ/ /əˈriələ/


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