diaphragm

noun
di·​a·​phragm | \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram How to pronounce diaphragm (audio) \

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 invertebrate
b : 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

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Other Words from diaphragm

diaphragmatic \ ˌdī-​ə-​frə(g)-​ˈma-​tik How to pronounce diaphragm (audio) , -​ˌfrag-​ \ adjective
diaphragmatically \ ˌdī-​ə-​frə(g)-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce diaphragm (audio) \ adverb

Examples of diaphragm in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The spring inside the spring brake chamber may allow the pressure plate to shift and wear a hole through the diaphragm. Detroit Free Press, "Car recalls for April 8-15," 16 Apr. 2021 The key was the realization that the diaphragm and the nervous system had to be coached back to normal function before further reconditioning could start. Meghan O'rourke, The Atlantic, "The Quest to Unlock the Mysteries of Long COVID," 8 Mar. 2021 Enrico, like all characters in opera when stabbed or shot, reacts by singing even more loudly, appearing to have no agency over his diaphragm. Henry Alford, The New Yorker, "Insomnia: The Opera," 5 Apr. 2021 The new machines sense the diaphragm’s spasms that signal the desire to breathe, and the breath’s timing and volume, and can match both to a tee. Jamieson Webster, The New York Review of Books, "On Breathing," 2 Apr. 2021 Many individuals with high-level spinal injury lose control over their diaphragm and cannot breathe properly on their own. Ferris Jabr, Scientific American, "Follow Your Nose: Sniff Controller Gives the Severely Disabled a New Way to Communicate and Move," 29 July 2010 The diaphragm allows for limited movement keeps your hands free. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Spring turkey hunting: Everything you need to know, including season dates, hotspots and the freeze," 26 Mar. 2021 The secret to getting your diaphragm to relax to get more carbon dioxide into your lungs. Laura Wheatman Hill, chicagotribune.com, "How to get rid of hiccups," 12 Mar. 2021 Kaluuya further refined the performance with the help of the dialect coach Audrey LeCrone, as well as an opera singing coach who taught him how to condition his vocal cords and engage his diaphragm for the big speech scenes. New York Times, "How Daniel Kaluuya Makes His Characters Come Alive," 4 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of diaphragm

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diaphragm

Middle English diafragma, from Late Latin diaphragma, from Greek, from diaphrassein to barricade, from dia- + phrassein to enclose

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Time Traveler for diaphragm

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for diaphragm

Last Updated

24 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diaphragm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diaphragm. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for diaphragm

diaphragm

noun

English Language Learners Definition of diaphragm

medical : a large flat muscle that separates the lungs from the stomach area and that is used in breathing
technical : 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

noun
di·​a·​phragm | \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram How to pronounce diaphragm (audio) \

Kids Definition of diaphragm

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

diaphragm

noun
di·​a·​phragm | \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram How to pronounce diaphragm (audio) \

Medical Definition of diaphragm

1 : a body partition of muscle and connective tissue specifically : the partition separating the chest and abdominal cavities in mammals — see pelvic diaphragm, urogenital 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on diaphragm

Nglish: Translation of diaphragm for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diaphragm for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diaphragm

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