ax·​il·​la | \ ag-ˈzi-lə How to pronounce axilla (audio) , ak-ˈsi- How to pronounce axilla (audio) \
plural axillae\ ag-​ˈzi-​(ˌ)lē How to pronounce axilla (audio) , -​ˌlī \ or axillas

Definition of axilla

: the cavity beneath the junction of a forelimb and the body especially : armpit

Examples of axilla in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The vaccine may enlarge the lymph nodes in the axilla, or armpit, according to Parkinson. Becky Jacobs, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Dec. 2021 In one woman, the swelling would be seen only in the left axilla. Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times, 12 May 2021 After all, the vaccine is supposed to elicit an immune response and typically injected into your upper arm, which is close to your axilla. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 3 Mar. 2021

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

First Known Use of axilla

1616, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for axilla

borrowed from Latin, diminutive of āla "armpit, upper arm, wing, axil" (axilla < *aksl̥-lā < *aksl-elā < *aksl- + *-el-, diminutive suffix) — more at ala

Note: Latin axilla is marginally attested in classical Latin, in a remark made by Cicero on its relation to āla ("fuga litterae vastioris" - "by the loss of an unwieldy letter"; Orator 153) and in a Greek glossary of Latin words. The usual Late Latin form is a metathesized ascilla or ascella, taken to mean "armpit," the sense "wing" being restricted to āla; from ascella descend Romance forms as Italian ascella "armpit," French aisselle.

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Cite this Entry

“Axilla.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for axilla


ax·​il·​la | \ ag-ˈzil-ə How to pronounce axilla (audio) , ak-ˈsil- How to pronounce axilla (audio) \
plural axillae\ -​(ˌ)ē, -​ˌī How to pronounce axilla (audio) \ or axillas

Medical Definition of axilla

: the cavity beneath the junction of the arm or anterior appendage and shoulder or shoulder girdle containing the axillary artery and vein, a part of the brachial plexus of nerves, many lymph nodes, and fat and areolar tissue especially : armpit

More from Merriam-Webster on axilla

Nglish: Translation of axilla for Spanish Speakers


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