car·​ti·​lag·​i·​nous | \ ˌkär-tə-ˈla-jə-nəs How to pronounce cartilaginous (audio) \

Definition of cartilaginous

: composed of, relating to, or resembling cartilage The external nose has a cartilaginous framework.

Examples of cartilaginous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Joining sharks and rays in the elasmobranch clan, sawfish are built over a cartilaginous frame that works in concert with a low profile and flat belly to allow efficient movement through whisper-thin depths. David A. Brown, Field & Stream, "The Fight to Save the Sawfish," 13 Dec. 2019 Enter the panda’s pseudo-thumb, which is also composed of an enlarged radial sesamoid and cartilaginous extension, and is controlled by the same three muscles as in the aye-aye. National Geographic, "This bizarre primate has a newly discovered digit," 21 Oct. 2019 Many of these cartilaginous swimmers eat fish, crustaceans, mollusks, plankton, krill, marine mammals, and other sharks—in short, humans are not on the menu. Elaina Zachos, National Geographic, "Why are we afraid of sharks? There's a scientific explanation.," 27 June 2019 The 31st edition of Shark Week will feature 18 new specials that salute the cartilaginous creature, accompanied by nightly installments of the wrap-up talk show Shark After Dark (11 p.m. ET/PT), which is hosted this year by Rob Riggle. Dan Snierson,, "Shark Week 2019 schedule: Your guide to all 18 specials," 10 July 2019 But these massive cartilaginous critters are not the largest fish to ever glide through the ocean. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "Why Did Most Massive Bony Fish Behemoths Die Out?," 4 June 2018 That's right—the cartilaginous creature in question, now called Helicoprion, was extinct before dinosaurs ever existed. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, "Sharklike Helicoprion Ruled Its Environs with a Row of Vertical Teeth," 1 Oct. 2017 Our preliminary hypothesis is that the creatures were green or blue, with long cartilaginous beaks. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Captain’s Log," 18 Sep. 2017 All that protects us from aspirating is a thin, cartilaginous flap of tissue called the epiglottis. Douglas Jacobs, Washington Post, "Problems swallowing are a big killer, but the treatment can be horrible," 7 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of cartilaginous

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Last Updated

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cartilaginous.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 January 2020.

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More Definitions for cartilaginous


car·​ti·​lag·​i·​nous | \ ˌkär-tə-ˈla-jə-nəs How to pronounce cartilaginous (audio) \

Kids Definition of cartilaginous

: relating to or made of cartilage Cartilaginous tissue is found in the outer ear and the nose.


car·​ti·​lag·​i·​nous | \ -nəs How to pronounce cartilaginous (audio) \

Medical Definition of cartilaginous

: composed of, relating to, or resembling cartilage

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More from Merriam-Webster on cartilaginous

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cartilaginous

Spanish Central: Translation of cartilaginous

Nglish: Translation of cartilaginous for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cartilaginous for Arabic Speakers

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