cartilage

noun
car·​ti·​lage | \ ˈkär-tə-lij How to pronounce cartilage (audio) , ˈkärt-lij\

Definition of cartilage

1 : a usually translucent (see translucent sense 1) somewhat elastic tissue that composes most of the skeleton of vertebrate embryos and except for a small number of structures (such as some joints, respiratory passages, and the external ear) is replaced by bone during ossification in the higher vertebrates
2 : a part or structure composed of cartilage

Examples of cartilage in a Sentence

She fell and damaged some cartilage in her knee.

Recent Examples on the Web

At some point, Makovicky says, sharks likely had bones more like other vertebrates, but eventually evolved a skeleton made out of soft cartilage. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "A New Shark Species Was Found in the Mud of Sue the T. Rex," 21 Jan. 2019 Common conditions include runner’s knee (or patellofemoral pain syndrome), IT (iliotibial) band syndrome, ligament tears (ACL and MCL tears being the most common), and meniscus tears (a tear of the cartilage in the knee joint). SELF, "How to Know When It’s Safe to Run Through Knee Pain and When You Need to Stop," 7 Dec. 2018 Photo: Courtesy of Cartiva Other options to replace cartilage are on the horizon. Laura Johannes, WSJ, "Synthetic Materials Can Replace Cartilage in Your Aching Joints," 16 Sep. 2018 Unlike like cartilage, teeth, scales, or various other tissues, the center of the sharks' eye lens doesn't keep growing as the creature ages. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "There Is a Shark That Can Live for 400 Years," 11 Aug. 2016 Export manager Ernest Xargayo said sales of pig’s feet, heads, cartilage and other byproducts to China are important to Costa Brava’s growth plans. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "America Struggles to Take Its Pigs to World’s Biggest Market," 18 Oct. 2018 Godzilla's cartilage would be about 12 times stronger than a human's, preventing his knees from exploding like overripe tomatoes—and making him the envy of basketball players everywhere. Danielle Venton, Popular Mechanics, "The Impossible Anatomy of Godzilla," 14 May 2014 There are biological cartilage substitutes for knees as well. Laura Johannes, WSJ, "Synthetic Materials Can Replace Cartilage in Your Aching Joints," 16 Sep. 2018 Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate: Glucosamine is an amino sugar, and cartilage naturally contains chondroitin sulfate. Shelby Deering, Country Living, "Ask a Country Vet: How Can I Keep My Sporting Dog Healthy and Happy?," 11 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of cartilage

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cartilage

Middle English, from Latin cartilagin-, cartilago

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cartilage

Statistics for cartilage

Last Updated

6 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cartilage

The first known use of cartilage was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cartilage

cartilage

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cartilage

: a strong but flexible material found in some parts of the body (such as the nose, the outer ear, and some joints)

cartilage

noun
car·​ti·​lage | \ ˈkär-tə-lij How to pronounce cartilage (audio) \

Kids Definition of cartilage

: tough flexible tissue that makes up most of the skeleton of vertebrates during early development and except for in a few places in the body (as the nose or outer ear) is replaced by bone

cartilage

noun
car·​ti·​lage | \ ˈkärt-ᵊl-ij, ˈkärt-lij How to pronounce cartilage (audio) \

Medical Definition of cartilage

1 : a usually translucent somewhat elastic tissue that composes most of the skeleton of vertebrate embryos and except for a small number of structures (as some joints, respiratory passages, and the external ear) is replaced by bone during ossification in the higher vertebrates
2 : a part or structure composed of cartilage

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on cartilage

Spanish Central: Translation of cartilage

Nglish: Translation of cartilage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cartilage for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cartilage

Comments on cartilage

What made you want to look up cartilage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!