inner ear


: the essential organ of hearing and equilibrium that is located in the temporal bone, is innervated by the auditory nerve, and includes the vestibule, the semicircular canals, and the cochlea

Examples of inner ear in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There is no test or scan for tinnitus, and scientists cannot easily study it because the inner ear is tiny, delicate and encased in bone, said Dr. Konstantina Stankovic, an otolaryngologist at Stanford University. Apoorva Mandavilli, New York Times, 3 May 2024 In the middle ear, the spot inside the eardrum that turns vibrations in the air into ripples in the inner ear’s fluids has three bones. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 4 Apr. 2024 Vertigo can be caused by various underlying conditions, primarily within the inner ear, but problems with the central nervous system can also contribute to the feeling. Benjamin Plackett, Discover Magazine, 7 Mar. 2024 Otoliths are formed in a fish’s inner ear with calcium carbonate layers as the fish grows. The Arizona Republic, 19 Feb. 2024 It was carefully introduced into the inner ear of the six children at differing doses, and they were observed for 26 weeks. Mary Kekatos, ABC News, 24 Jan. 2024 Factors that lead to hearing loss can include damage to the inner ear and the buildup of earwax overtime, the medical organization adds. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 7 Jan. 2024 How Did Humans Evolve to Walk? To see how locomotion evolved and how the inner ear changed over time, researchers took Lufengpithecus skulls found in China in the 1980s and created 3D CT scans of the inner ear. Discover Magazine, 29 Jan. 2024 The researchers conducted a hearing loss test that involves placing electrodes in the participants’ ear canals and on their scalps to measure activity in the inner ear auditory nerve and the brain in response to clicking sounds. Katie Mogg, NBC News, 1 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'inner ear.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inner ear was in 1855

Dictionary Entries Near inner ear

Cite this Entry

“Inner ear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

inner ear

: the part of the ear that is most important for hearing, is located in a cavity in the temporal bone, and contains the ends of the nerves which send nerve impulses concerned with hearing and balance to the brain

Medical Definition

inner ear

: the essential part of the vertebrate organ of hearing and equilibrium that typically is located in the temporal bone, is innervated by the auditory nerve, and includes the vestibule, the semicircular canals, and the cochlea

called also internal ear

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