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 Russia’s retreat from key cities is likely aimed at avoiding encirclement after Ukraine captured the town of Kupyansk, which sits on a rail and road hub, and severed the last artery that connected Russia with thousands of its front-line troops. Thomas Grove, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2022 An ultrasound done an hour later detected a major blood clot in the large artery behind his knee totally blocking the vessel, according to a deposition taken in a subsequent lawsuit., 7 Sep. 2022 Thacker Pass sits amid a largely rural area with an economy focused on agriculture, mining and roadside businesses that cater to travelers along Route 95, a growing artery between Boise, Idaho, and California. Daniel Moore, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Sep. 2022 The state’s main interior artery I-5 was also closed in both directions near Castaic, according to a social media alert by CalTrans. Lauren Hepler, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 Aug. 2022 Still, the Taliban were adding checkpoints to clog nearly every artery to the airport, and the crowds at every gate were unrelenting. Michael Venutolo-mantovani, WIRED, 30 Aug. 2022 Stents help reduce the risk of the artery closing off after the procedure. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 29 Aug. 2022 Violent gangs have tightened their grip over swaths of Port-au-Prince and the main artery to the south, terrorizing Haitians of all stations with rampant kidnapping. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2022 The stab wound was the result of a forceful downward thrust, just over 3 inches into the artery, Rundle said. ABC News, 11 Aug. 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

22 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Artery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 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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