cloaca

noun
clo·​a·​ca | \ klō-ˈā-kə How to pronounce cloaca (audio) \
plural cloacae\ klō-​ˈā-​ˌkē How to pronounce cloaca (audio) , -​ˌsē \

Definition of cloaca

2a [New Latin, from Latin] : the common chamber into which the intestinal and urogenital tracts discharge especially in monotreme mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and elasmobranch fishes also : a comparable chamber of an invertebrate
b : the enlarged terminal part of the posterior embryonic digestive tract of a mammal that gives rise to the rectum, upper anal canal, and urogenital sinus

Other Words from cloaca

cloacal \ klō-​ˈā-​kəl How to pronounce cloaca (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cloaca in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Water snakes, like many snake species, will release a strong, musky odor from scent glands in their cloaca — an opening used for reproduction and excretion located near the base of the tail — when they are threatened or handled. Don Lyman, BostonGlobe.com, 13 July 2022 But a study published this year has offered experts their first detailed look at a dinosaur cloaca and its resemblance to the same setup in crocodiles. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2021 Comparisons to birds and crocodiles led experts to think that dinosaurs, too, had a single external opening called a cloaca. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2021 Males deposit little packets of sperm called spermatophores along the bottom of vernal pools, and females pick up the spermatophores in their cloaca, a multipurpose opening at the base of the tail that’s used for excretion and reproduction. BostonGlobe.com, 24 Mar. 2021 The cloaca was so well preserved that Vinther realized it could be reconstructed using 3-D computer modelling, reports Katherine J. Wu for the New York Times. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Jan. 2021 The goal is to remove the oil gland and cloaca while also creating a hole to extract the innards. Natalie Krebs, Outdoor Life, 23 Dec. 2020 The team placed each bird in a small roosting enclosure near the campsite and inserted a tiny wire into their cloaca, an all-purpose hole that birds use to excrete waste, mate, and—in females—lay eggs. Lucy Hicks, Science | AAAS, 8 Sep. 2020 Estimating the height above ground and aperture of the cloaca—the opening through which penguins defecate—was equally simple. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 4 July 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of cloaca

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cloaca

Latin; akin to Greek klyzein to wash — more at clyster

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The first known use of cloaca was circa 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near cloaca

clo

cloaca

cloacal gland

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Last Updated

16 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cloaca.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cloaca. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for cloaca

cloaca

noun
clo·​aca | \ klō-ˈā-kə How to pronounce cloaca (audio) \
plural cloacae\ -​ˌkē, -​ˌsē How to pronounce cloaca (audio) \

Medical Definition of cloaca

1a : the common chamber into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals discharge especially in monotreme mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and elasmobranch fishes
b : the terminal part of the embryonic hindgut of a mammal before it divides into rectum, bladder, and genital precursors
2 : a passage in a bone leading to a cavity containing a sequestrum

Other Words from cloaca

cloacal \ -​ˈā-​kəl How to pronounce cloaca (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on cloaca

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cloaca

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