cath·​e·​ter | \ ˈka-thə-tər How to pronounce catheter (audio) , ˈkath-tər \

Definition of catheter

: a tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities usually to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids or to keep a passage open — compare balloon catheter

Examples of catheter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The doctor was then called to treat an elderly Black man who tried to remove his urinary catheter. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, 23 May 2021 Only three tubes remain: an IV in my arm, a tube up my butt, and a catheter. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 3 May 2021 The ultrasound is over and Hildebrandt is struggling to insert the carbon-fibre catheter into her uterus. Henry Nicholls, Scientific American, 30 May 2012 Someone would lower the head of the bed, another would guide a catheter into a vein (or, if that failed, drill it into a bone), and a third would administer sedative medications. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 20 Apr. 2021 Puntung's cervix, tightly constricted owing to the phase of her menstrual cycle, is proving a serious obstacle to the catheter. Henry Nicholls, Scientific American, 30 May 2012 The screen split into four segments, showing the surgeons as well as live X-ray images of the patient’s brain, as Desai slowly inserted a catheter into a blood vessel., 23 Mar. 2021 The result was bruising around the monkey’s thigh and at the catheter site. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Mar. 2021 On July 2, a prison doctor provided consent for Ruiz to have a catheter inserted for dialysis. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'catheter.' 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 catheter

1601, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for catheter

Late Latin, from Greek kathetēr, from kathienai to send down, from kata- cata- + hienai to send — more at jet

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Time Traveler for catheter

Time Traveler

The first known use of catheter was in 1601

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Statistics for catheter

Last Updated

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Catheter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for catheter



English Language Learners Definition of catheter

medical : a thin tube that is put into the body to remove or inject a liquid or to keep a passage open


cath·​e·​ter | \ ˈkath-ət-ər, ˈkath-tər How to pronounce catheter (audio) \

Medical Definition of catheter

: a tubular medical device for insertion into canals, vessels, passageways, or body cavities for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes (as to permit injection or withdrawal of fluids or to keep a passage open)

More from Merriam-Webster on catheter

Nglish: Translation of catheter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of catheter for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about catheter


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