cris·​ta | \ ˈkri-stə How to pronounce crista (audio) \
plural cristae\ ˈkri-​ˌstē How to pronounce cristae (audio) , -​ˌstī \

Definition of crista

: any of the inwardly projecting folds of the inner membrane of a mitochondrion

First Known Use of crista

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for crista

New Latin, from Latin, crest — more at crest

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The first known use of crista was in 1959

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Cite this Entry

“Crista.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jul. 2020.

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cris·​ta | \ ˈkris-tə How to pronounce crista (audio) \
plural cristae\ -​ˌtē, -​ˌtī How to pronounce cristae (audio) \

Medical Definition of crista

1 : one of the areas of specialized sensory epithelium in the ampullae of the semicircular canals of the ear serving as end organs for the vestibular sense

called also crista ampullaris

2 : a membranous spiral fold running the length of the body of certain spirochetes
3 : an elevation of the surface of a bone for the attachment of a muscle or tendon
4 : any of the inwardly projecting folds of the inner membrane of a mitochondrion

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