Definition of lingula in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlɪŋɡjʊlə/


  • 1Anatomy
    Any of several small tongue-shaped structures; specifically (a) a protuberance of the sphenoid bone or of the mandible; (b) a subdivision of the vermis of the cerebellum; (c) a part of the left lung projecting downward from the upper lobe.

  • 2A small tongue-shaped object or part; (in later use) specifically (historical) a strip of leather covering the instep in ancient Greek and Roman shoes.

  • 3Zoology
    A brachiopod of the genus Lingula or class Lingulata; the shell of this, typically having a rounded oblong shape. Also (in form Lingula): the genus itself.

    From the close similarity of fossils and recent shells, Lingula has often been termed a ‘living fossil’, but examples from the Cambrian period are no longer placed in this particular genus (which is now regarded as originating in the Ordovician or even the Cretaceous period).


Early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin lingula tongue-shaped projection or flap, in post-classical Latin also epiglottis, strip of land from lingua tongue + -ula.