cochlea

noun
co·​chlea | \ ˈkō-klē-ə How to pronounce cochlea (audio) , ˈkä-klē- How to pronounce cochlea (audio) \
plural cochleas or cochleae\ ˈkō-​klē-​ˌē How to pronounce cochlea (audio) , -​ˌī , ˈkä-​klē-​ \

Definition of cochlea

: a hollow tube in the inner ear of higher vertebrates that is usually coiled like a snail shell and contains the sensory organ of hearing — see ear illustration

Other Words from cochlea

cochlear \ ˈkō-​klē-​ər How to pronounce cochlea (audio) , ˈkä-​ How to pronounce cochlea (audio) \ adjective

Examples of cochlea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The braincase also revealed the shortest ever cochlea found in a dinosaur. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 20 Jan. 2022 Most cases of tinnitus are due to hearing loss caused by damage to the cells responsible for hearing in the cochlea, the organ of hearing in the inner ear. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 10 Mar. 2022 Both of your cochlea would fit on the face of a dime with room to spare. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2022 The primary structure of hearing in the skull is called a cochlea. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2022 The cochlea is part of the inner ear where hearing takes place, and its size can determine hearing ability. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 20 Jan. 2022 If your cochlea were the same relative size as a bat’s, each would be about the size of a golf ball. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2022 Vein’s alloy of cochlea-stabbing guitar harmonics, piston-engine rhythms, jarring electronic textures and throat-shearing catharsis is nothing short of glorious. Jason Pettigrew, SPIN, 5 Jan. 2022 The best objective evidence would be obtained from pathology studies of the cochlea and vestibular organs, which would require autopsies of a mammalian species that had been exposed to the suspect phenomena. John Crowley, Harper’s Magazine , 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of cochlea

1688, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cochlea

New Latin, from Latin, snail, snail shell, from Greek kochlias, from kochlos snail; probably akin to Greek konchē mussel

Learn More About cochlea

Time Traveler for cochlea

Time Traveler

The first known use of cochlea was in 1688

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near cochlea

cochl

cochlea

Cochlearia

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for cochlea

Cite this Entry

“Cochlea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cochlea. Accessed 19 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for cochlea

cochlea

noun
co·​chlea | \ ˈkō-klē-ə How to pronounce cochlea (audio) , ˈkä- \
plural cochleas or cochleae\ -​ˌē , -​ˌī \

Kids Definition of cochlea

: a coiled tube in the inner part of the ear that contains the endings of the nerve which carries information about sound to the brain

cochlea

noun
co·​chle·​a | \ ˈkō-klē-ə How to pronounce cochlea (audio) , ˈkäk-lē- How to pronounce cochlea (audio) \
plural cochleas or cochleae\ ˈkō-​klē-​ˌē, ˈkäk-​lē-​ˌē, -​ˌī How to pronounce cochlea (audio) \

Medical Definition of cochlea

: a division of the bony labyrinth of the inner ear coiled into the form of a snail shell and consisting of a spiral canal in the petrous part of the temporal bone in which lies a smaller membranous spiral passage that communicates with the saccule at the base of the spiral, ends blindly near its apex, and contains the organ of Corti

Other Words from cochlea

cochlear \ ˈkō-​klē-​ər, ˈkäk-​lē-​ər How to pronounce cochlea (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on cochlea

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cochlea

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

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!