con·​junc·​ti·​va | \ ˌkän-ˌjəŋ(k)-ˈtī-və How to pronounce conjunctiva (audio) , kən-\
plural conjunctivas or conjunctivae\ ˌkän-​ˌjəŋ(k)-​ˈtī-​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce conjunctivae (audio) , kən-​ \

Definition of conjunctiva

: the mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and is continued over the forepart of the eyeball — see eye illustration

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from conjunctiva

conjunctival \ ˌkän-​ˌjəŋ(k)-​ˈtī-​vəl How to pronounce conjunctival (audio) , kən-​ \ adjective

Examples of conjunctiva in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The eye model, shown in the GIF above, uses cells from a human cornea (dyed yellow) and conjunctiva (dyed red), two of the eye’s outermost layers. Scientific American, "Ballistic Maggots, Synthetic Winks and Why You’re Not Goop: This Week’s Best Science GIFs," 9 Aug. 2019 Surfer’s eye and other San Diego hazards Pinguecula and pterygium are growths on the conjunctiva, the clear covering over the white part of the eye. Beth Wood, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Protect your eyes for life with healthy diet, sun shielding," 24 June 2019 Pink eye is an inflammation or infection of the transparent membrane (conjunctiva) that lines your eyelid and covers the white part of your eyeball, the Mayo Clinic says. Korin Miller, SELF, "8 Signs You’re Way Overdue for an Eye Exam," 25 Oct. 2018 Pink Eye Conjunctivitis, or more commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin clear tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid, according to the Mayo Clinic. Lindsay Carlton, Fox News, "Back-to-school germs 101: What you need to know," 7 Sep. 2018 Pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, happens when your conjunctiva (the thin, clear tissue lining your eyelids and the whites of your eyes) becomes inflamed. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s Exactly What to Do About Eczema on Your Eyelid," 3 July 2018 This inflammation of your eyes’ conjunctiva (the thin, clear tissue lining your eyelids and the whites of your eyes) often presents with redness, pain, itching, and a burning sensation. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s How Often You Need to Buy New Mascara to Avoid Eye Infections," 6 Apr. 2018 Your eyelids can get red as part of all that inflammation, and your actual eyes can take on a red hue if the blood vessels in your conjunctiva (the mucous membrane on the front of your eyes and the insides of your eyelids) widen due to irritation. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Symptoms of Blepharitis, a Bizarre Condition That Can Affect Your Eyes," 7 June 2018 That can damage your corneas and conjunctiva, resulting in everything from burning eyes to blurry vision to a temporary loss of eyesight, and even more symptoms beyond that. Korin Miller, SELF, "5 Reasons Your Eyes Are Burning Like Mad," 23 May 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for conjunctiva

New Latin, from Late Latin, feminine of conjunctivus conjoining, from Latin conjunctus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conjunctiva

Statistics for conjunctiva

Time Traveler for conjunctiva

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for conjunctiva


con·​junc·​ti·​va | \ ˌkän-ˌjəŋ(k)-ˈtī-və, kən- How to pronounce conjunctiva (audio) \
plural conjunctivas or conjunctivae\ -​(ˌ)vē How to pronounce conjunctivae (audio) \

Medical Definition of conjunctiva

: the mucous membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids and is continued over the forepart of the eyeball

Other Words from conjunctiva

conjunctival \ -​vəl How to pronounce conjunctival (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on conjunctiva Encyclopedia article about conjunctiva

Comments on conjunctiva

What made you want to look up conjunctiva? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!