alveolus

noun

al·​ve·​o·​lus al-ˈvē-ə-ləs How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
plural alveoli al-ˈvē-ə-ˌlī How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
-(ˌ)lē
1
: a small cavity or pit: such as
a
: a socket in the jaw for a tooth
b
: a small air-containing compartment of the lungs in which the bronchioles terminate and from which respiratory gases are exchanged with the pulmonary capillaries
c
: an acinus of a compound gland
d
: a cell of a honeycomb
2

Examples of alveolus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web More fluid enters the alveolus. Avesta Rastan, Discover Magazine, 9 June 2020 But even when a patient is severely ill, some alveoli still function well. Olivia Carville, Bloomberg.com, 10 May 2020 This could explain how the alveoli fail to oxygenate the blood without the patient noticing the need to gasp for more air. Fox News, 28 Apr. 2020 These millions of alveoli are so soft, so gentle, that a healthy lung has almost no substance. oregonlive, 7 Apr. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alveolus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, diminutive of alveus cavity, hollow, from alvus belly, beehive; akin to Lithuanian aulys beehive, Greek aulos tube, flute

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alveolus was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near alveolus

Cite this Entry

“Alveolus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alveolus. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

alveolus

noun
al·​ve·​o·​lus al-ˈvē-ə-ləs How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
plural alveoli -ˌlī How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
-(ˌ)lē
: a small cavity or pit
especially : an air cell of the lungs

Medical Definition

alveolus

noun
al·​ve·​o·​lus al-ˈvē-ə-ləs How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
plural alveoli -ˌlī How to pronounce alveolus (audio) -(ˌ)lē How to pronounce alveolus (audio)
: a small cavity or pit: as
a
: a socket in the jaw for a tooth
b
: any of the small thin-walled air-containing compartments of the lung that are typically arranged in saclike clusters into which an alveolar duct terminates and from which respiratory gases are exchanged with the pulmonary capillaries
c
: an acinus of a compound gland
d
: any of the pits in the wall of the stomach into which the glands open

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