Dictionary

cochlea

noun co·chlea \ˈkō-klē-ə, ˈkä-klē-\

: the part of the inner ear that contains the endings of the nerve that carries information about sound to the brain

plural co·chle·as or co·chle·ae \-klē-ˌē, -ˌī\

Full Definition of COCHLEA

:  a hollow tube in the inner ear of higher vertebrates that is usually coiled like a snail shell and contains the sensory organ of hearing — see ear illustration
co·chle·ar \ˈkō-klē-ər, ˈkä-\ adjective

Origin of COCHLEA

New Latin, from Latin, snail, snail shell, from Greek kochlias, from kochlos snail; probably akin to Greek konchē mussel
First Known Use: 1688

cochlea

noun co·chle·a \ˈkō-klē-ə, ˈkäk-lē-\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural co·chle·as or co·chle·ae \ˈkō-klē-ˌē, ˈkäk-lē-ˌē, -ˌī\

Medical Definition of COCHLEA

:  a division of the bony labyrinth of the inner ear coiled into the form of a snail shell and consisting of a spiral canal in the petrous part of the temporal bone in which lies a smaller membranous spiral passage that communicates with the saccule at the base of the spiral, ends blindly near its apex, and contains the organ of Corti
co·chle·ar \ˈkō-klē-ər, ˈkäk-lē-ər\ adjective

Illustration of COCHLEA

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