isth·​mus | \ ˈi-sməs How to pronounce isthmus (audio) \

Definition of isthmus

1 : a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas
2 : a narrow anatomical part or passage connecting two larger structures or cavities

Examples of isthmus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The Mosquito Coast is the nickname for the Caribbean side of the isthmus, so-called for the indigenous tribe native to the area and not the pesky bug—although there are plenty of those. Travel + Leisure, 10 Mar. 2022 Within days three of the group died and the glowing euphoria of adventure was replaced by deep resentment at being misled about the dangers of the isthmus., 12 Feb. 2022 Home to Ducru, the legendary Médoc is located on an isthmus between the Atlantic Ocean and the estuary of the mighty Gironde River, which has a profound impact on the wines. Ted Loos, Robb Report, 12 Dec. 2021 Gibraltar's airport was built right before World War II at the edge of Gibraltar's isthmus, just meters away from the Spanish border and on land that Spain claims was not included in the Treaty of Utrecht, by which the Rock was ceded to Britain. Miquel Ros, CNN, 9 Nov. 2021 Windy weather on the isthmus also kept the insects away. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Oct. 2021 Part of this route is around the Garrison which bulges like a balloon from the rest of the island, separated by an isthmus. Kate Eshelby, CNN, 14 June 2021 A mere thirteen days apart, Hurricanes Eta and Iota had slammed into the isthmus of Central America on near-identical paths last year. Delphine Schrank, The New York Review of Books, 17 Mar. 2021 Archaeologists discovered the ruins of ancient buildings on the Ness of Brodgar isthmus, between the two stone circles, in 2002. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Apr. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of isthmus

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for isthmus

Latin, from Greek isthmos

Learn More About isthmus

Time Traveler for isthmus

Time Traveler

The first known use of isthmus was in 1555

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near isthmus




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for isthmus

Cite this Entry

“Isthmus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for isthmus


isth·​mus | \ ˈi-sməs How to pronounce isthmus (audio) \

Kids Definition of isthmus

: a narrow strip of land separating two bodies of water and connecting two larger areas of land


isth·​mus | \ ˈis-məs How to pronounce isthmus (audio) \

Medical Definition of isthmus

: a contracted anatomical part or passage connecting two larger structures or cavities: as
a : an embryonic constriction separating the midbrain from the hindbrain
b : the lower portion of the uterine corpus

More from Merriam-Webster on isthmus

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for isthmus

Nglish: Translation of isthmus for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about isthmus


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!