\ˈləŋ \

Definition of lung 

1a : one of the usually paired compound saccular thoracic organs that constitute the basic respiratory organs of an air-breathing vertebrate

b : any of various respiratory organs of invertebrates

2a : a device enabling individuals abandoning a submarine to rise to the surface

b : a mechanical device for regularly introducing fresh air into and withdrawing stale air from the lung : respirator — compare iron lung

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Other Words from lung

lungful \ˈləŋ-​ˌfu̇l \ noun

Examples of lung in a Sentence

He filled his lungs with the clean. fresh air.

Recent Examples on the Web

The dog had fluid around his heart and lungs, and was also hypothermic, Allen said. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Virginia emergency officials rescue dog trapped in 35-foot well," 15 Sep. 2018 That means residents should avoid being outside and exerting themselves, particularly people with heart and lung problems, the elderly, and children. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Breathing Seattle’s air right now is like smoking 7 cigarettes. Blame wildfires.," 21 Aug. 2018 Doctors kept her alive with a cumbersome machine that did the work of her heart and lungs. New York Times, "Dying Organs Restored to Life in Novel Experiments," 10 July 2018 Like the heart or lungs, bone marrow is constantly working, producing some 500 billion blood cells a day in the average human. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Belt That Protects Against Gamma Radiation," 27 June 2018 Florida Hospital Orlando on Monday unveiled an expansion to its cardiac intensive care unit, adding eight beds designated for patients who have severe heart and lung failure and need to be on a life-saving machine called ECMO. Naseem S. Miller,, "Florida Hospital Orlando expands cardiac intensive care unit," 25 June 2018 On Thursday, during the first week of the course, students took apart plastic hearts, lungs and other body parts from an anatomy model and studied tissue under microscopes. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "UTSA program paves way for health professionals from medically underserved communities," 15 June 2018 In six of those cases, the Miami-Dade medical examiner ruled that the patients died from fat clots in their hearts or lungs as a complication of surgery. Sarah Blaskey, Sonia Osorio And Daniel Chang, miamiherald, "She dreamed of getting plastic surgery in Miami. Three days later, she was dead.," 13 June 2018 The pressure would have been even greater if the procedure included the removal of heart or lungs. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "'This room becomes sacred.' The heroic and heartbreaking journey of one organ donor's body," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lung.' 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 lung

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for lung

Middle English lunge, from Old English lungen; akin to Old High German lungun lung, līhti light in weight — more at light

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Dictionary Entries near lung






lung book


Statistics for lung

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for lung

The first known use of lung was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of lung

: either one of the two organs that people and animals use to breathe air


\ˈləŋ \

Kids Definition of lung

: either of two organs in the chest that are like bags and are the main breathing structure in animals that breathe air


\ˈləŋ \

Medical Definition of lung 

1a : one of the usually two compound saccular organs that constitute the basic respiratory organ of air-breathing vertebrates, that normally occupy the entire lateral parts of the thorax and consist essentially of an inverted tree of intricately branched bronchioles communicating with thin-walled terminal alveoli swathed in a network of delicate capillaries where the actual gaseous exchange of respiration takes place, and that in humans are somewhat flattened with a broad base resting against the diaphragm and have the right lung divided into three lobes and the left into two lobes

b : any of various respiratory organs of invertebrates

2 : a mechanical device for regularly introducing fresh air into and withdrawing stale air from the lungs : respirator — see iron lung

Other Words from lung

lunged adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on lung

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lung

Spanish Central: Translation of lung

Nglish: Translation of lung for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lung for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about lung

Comments on lung

What made you want to look up lung? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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