Definition of diaphragm
1 : a body partition of muscle and connective tissue; specifically : the partition separating the chest and abdominal cavities in mammals
2 : a dividing membrane or thin partition especially in a tube
3a : a more or less rigid partition in the body or shell of an invertebrateb : a transverse septum in a plant stem
4 : a device that limits the aperture of a lens or optical system — compare iris diaphragm
5 : a thin flexible disk (as in a microphone or loudspeaker) that vibrates when struck by sound waves or that vibrates to generate sound waves
6 : a molded cap usually of thin rubber fitted over the uterine cervix to act as a mechanical contraceptive barrier
diaphragmaticplay \ˌdī-ə-frə(g)-ˈma-tik, -ˌfrag-\ adjective
diaphragmaticallyplay \-ˈma-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Recent Examples of diaphragm from the Web
In a relatively rare sighting, a dead minke whale, with its diaphragm pushed outside of its mouth, washed ashore Sunday on Long Beach Peninsula, Pacific County, about a quarter mile north of Klipsan Beach Approach.
That man inspired me all my life to get my voice crisper, get my diaphragm harder, use less air and just spit it out.
Now a springy internal diaphragm distributes traveler weight.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diaphragm'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of diaphragm
Middle English diafragma, from Late Latin diaphragma, from Greek, from diaphrassein to barricade, from dia- + phrassein to enclose
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
DIAPHRAGM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of diaphragm for English Language Learners
medical : a large flat muscle that separates the lungs from the stomach area and that is used in breathing
: a device that controls the amount of light passing through the lens of a camera
: a device shaped like a cup that is placed in the vagina to prevent pregnancy
DIAPHRAGM Defined for Kids
Definition of diaphragm for Students
1 : a muscular wall that separates the lungs from the stomach area and assists in breathing in
2 : a thin disk (as in a microphone) that vibrates when sound strikes it
Medical Definition of diaphragm
2: a device that limits the aperture of a lens or optical system
3: a molded cap usually of thin rubber fitted over the uterine cervix to act as a mechanical contraceptive barrier
Seen and Heard
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