fe·​nes·​tra | \ fə-ˈne-strə How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \
plural fenestrae\ fə-​ˈne-​ˌstrē How to pronounce fenestra (audio) , -​ˌtrī \

Definition of fenestra

1 : a small anatomical opening (as in a bone): such as
a or fenestra ovalis \ -​ō-​ˈvā-​ləs How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \ or fenestra vestibuli \ -​ve-​ˈsti-​byə-​ˌlī How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \ : oval window
b or fenestra cochleae \ -​ˈkä-​klē-​ˌē How to pronounce fenestra (audio) , -​ˈkō-​klē-​ˌī \ or fenestra rotunda \ -​rō-​ˈtən-​də How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \ : round window
2 : an opening cut in bone

Other Words from fenestra

fenestral \ fə-​ˈne-​strəl How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fenestra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In most meat-eating dinosaurs, a ridge of bone provides a roof over an opening in the skull in front of the eye sockets known as the antorbital fenestra. Matthew A. Brown, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2021 Pterosaurs also had extra openings in their skulls, the largest of which was an opening in front of the eyes known as an antorbital fenestra. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, 1 Oct. 2019 The massive dinosaur had two large holes in the roof of its skull (dorsotemporal fenestra) that were filled with muscles to aid jaw movements. Fox News, 6 Sep. 2019 The specialized pocket sits within an opening on the top rear of the skull called the dorsotemporal fenestra. Riley Black, Smithsonian, 4 Sep. 2019 All these animals are united by subtle skull features, such as the absence of a hole in the lower jaw called the mandibular fenestra and the flat, wrinkle-cusped teeth set along the jaws. Brian Switek, WIRED, 6 June 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fenestra.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fenestra

circa 1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fenestra

New Latin, from Latin, window

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Time Traveler for fenestra

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The first known use of fenestra was circa 1737

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Cite this Entry

“Fenestra.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fenestra. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fenestra


fe·​nes·​tra | \ fə-ˈnes-trə How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \
plural fenestrae\ -​ˌtrē How to pronounce fenestra (audio) , -​ˌtrī How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \

Medical Definition of fenestra

1 : a small anatomical opening (as in a bone): as
2a : a small opening cut in bone : window sense 2
b : a small opening in a surgical instrument (as an endoscope)

Other Words from fenestra

fenestral \ -​trəl How to pronounce fenestra (audio) \ adjective


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