ampulla of Lorenzini

noun phrase

ampulla of Lo·​ren·​zi·​ni -ˌlȯr-ən-ˈzē-nē How to pronounce ampulla of Lorenzini (audio)
: any of the pores on the snouts of marine sharks and rays that contain receptors highly sensitive to weak electric fields

Word History


after Stefano Lorenzini 17th-century Italian physician

Note: The ampullae were described by Lorenzini in Osservazioni intorno alle torpedini (Florence, 1678).

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ampulla of Lorenzini was in 1892

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Cite this Entry

“Ampulla of Lorenzini.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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