ar·​tery | \ ˈär-tə-rē How to pronounce artery (audio) , ˈär-trē \
plural arteries

Definition of artery

1 : any of the tubular branching muscular- and elastic-walled vessels that carry blood from the heart through the body
2 : a channel (such as a river or highway) of transportation or communication especially : the main channel in a branching system

Examples of artery in a Sentence

He favors local side roads over major arteries. there's an accident on the main artery into town, so I'll be late
Recent Examples on the Web Germany, meanwhile, is grappling with a drop in water levels along Rhine river, a major trade artery. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 20 July 2022 The family wondered whether the truck’s driver may have detoured from Interstate 35, a major smuggling artery that is a straight shot north from Laredo. Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2022 Parma Heights Community and Economic Development Director Joe Sebes previously told N. Church Drive is heavily used by residents as a major artery to UH Parma Medical Center and The Shoppes at Parma. John Benson, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 One of the doctors repeatedly said the wound reached the heart, which reporters eventually deciphered was a reference to a bullet hitting a main artery in his heart, leading to massive blood loss. Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 Nord Stream, the main artery for Russian gas to Europe, is currently down due to regular maintenance and European governments are worried the Kremlin won’t restore its flow when the work ends Thursday. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, 20 July 2022 According to the band’s social media post Monday, Fletcher died of an aortic dissection, a tear in the wall of the body’s main artery that causes blood to rush through. Kenan Draughorne, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2022 When the Taliban came to power on Aug. 15, the main artery keeping Afghanistan’s economy alive — international donor funds — was severed. Fox News, 8 Dec. 2021 Cuban sandwiches packed with artery-clogging ingredients like ham and pork and anything sweet, like a slice of flan, his favorite dessert. Carmen Cusido,, 20 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'artery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of artery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for artery

Middle English arterie, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French arteire, arterie, borrowed from Latin artēria "trachea, bronchial tubes (in plural artēriae), artery," borrowed from Greek artēría, from ar- (contracted from *awer-), base of aeírein "to join, attach, harness" (of uncertain origin) + -tēr, agentive suffix + -ia -ia entry 1 — more at aorta

Note: Compare, without the second suffix, Greek artḗr "something by which a burden is carried" (Septuagint). The semantic relation between the verb aeírein and the sense "trachea" parallels that between the verb and the derivative aortḗ "aorta, bronchial tubes" (see aorta). The extension of the meaning from "trachea" to "artery" is presumably because the arteries were believed to carry air to the extremities of the body as well as blood.

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The first known use of artery was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Artery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for artery


ar·​tery | \ ˈär-tə-rē How to pronounce artery (audio) \
plural arteries

Kids Definition of artery

1 : one of the branching tubes that carry blood from the heart to all parts of the body
2 : a main road or waterway


ar·​tery | \ ˈärt-ə-rē How to pronounce artery (audio) \
plural arteries

Medical Definition of artery

: any of the tubular branching muscular- and elastic-walled vessels that carry blood from the heart through the body

More from Merriam-Webster on artery

Nglish: Translation of artery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of artery for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about artery


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