diaphragm

noun di·a·phragm \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

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
3 a : 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

diaphragmatic

play \ˌdī-ə-frə(g)-ˈma-tik, -ˌfrag-\ adjective

diaphragmatically

play \-ˈma-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Recent Examples of diaphragm from the Web

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


DIAPHRAGM Defined for English Language Learners

diaphragm

noun

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

diaphragm

noun di·a·phragm \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram \

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 Dictionary

diaphragm

noun di·a·phragm \ ˈdī-ə-ˌfram \

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

Illustration of diaphragm



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