cartilage

noun
car·ti·lage | \ˈkär-tə-lij, 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

Doctors at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas performed a total left ear reconstruction which included taking cartilage from the patient's ribs. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "This soldier's new ear was grown under her skin," 10 May 2018 There, the cartilage can grow into a functional ear, complete with nerve endings and blood vessels. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Doctors Grow Replacement Ear Inside Patient's Arm," 10 May 2018 In sisig baboy, the chef, Carmen Sta Maria (pronounced Santa Maria), foregoes the usual pig ears, jowl and snout for pork belly and crumbled chicharrón, to evoke the crunch, if not the chewiness, of cartilage. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "A Filipino Specialty Best Paired With a Brew in the East Village," 5 July 2018 Doctors take cartilage from Burrage’s ribs and mold it into an ear shape. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Doctors Grow Replacement Ear Inside Patient's Arm," 10 May 2018 The meniscus is made up of cartilage in the knee and can sometimes be connected to an MCL injury. Tania Ganguli, latimes.com, "Lonzo Ball awaits more information on left meniscus, but injury isn't considered serious," 30 June 2018 Instead of bones, their bodies are supported by cartilage, the same material that’s inside the tip of a human nose. The Kansas City Zoo, kansascity, "New Stingray Bay Touch Tank Exhibit Now Open at KC Zoo (Sponsored)," 27 June 2018 Said injuries includes the bones, glands, blood vessels, ligaments, soft tissues, tendons, cartilage, and nerves of the injured parts. Travis Fedschun, Fox News, "Lawyer in pasta assault must pay woman $103G, jury says," 10 June 2018 Tissue includes cartilage, bone, ligaments and skin, and is used in reconstructive surgery and wound healing, as examples. As Told To Patricia R. Olsen, New York Times, "‘This Work Helps the Living’," 3 Feb. 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

7 Oct 2018

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 \

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 \

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

required by fashion, etiquette, or custom

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!