a: one of the usually two compound saccular organs that constitute the basic respiratory organ of air-breathing vertebrates, that normally occupy the entire lateral parts of the thorax and consist essentially of an inverted tree of intricately branched bronchioles communicating with thin-walled terminal alveoli swathed in a network of delicate capillaries where the actual gaseous exchange of respiration takes place, and that in humans are somewhat flattened with a broad base resting against the diaphragm and have the right lung divided into three lobes and the left into two lobes b: any of various respiratory organs of invertebrates
: a mechanical device for regularly introducing fresh air into and withdrawing stale air from the lungs :respirator—see iron lung
Illustration of LUNG
Either of two light, spongy, elastic organs in the chest, used for breathing. Each is enclosed in a membrane (pleura). Contraction of the diaphragm and the muscles between the ribs draw air into the lungs through the trachea, which splits into two primary bronchi, one per lung. Each bronchus branches into secondary bronchi (one per lobe of lung), tertiary bronchi (one per segment of lung), and many bronchioles leading to the pulmonary alveoli. There oxygen in the inspired gas is exchanged for carbon dioxide from the blood in the surrounding capillaries. Adequate tissue oxygen supply depends on sufficient distribution of air (ventilation) and blood (perfusion) in the lungs. Lung injuries or diseases (e.g., emphysema, embolism, pneumonia) can affect either or both.