\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

Nearly 115,000 people are on waiting lists for kidneys, livers, hearts, lungs and other organs. Lenny Bernstein, Washington Post, "New York organ collection agency, nation’s second-largest, threatened with closure," 11 July 2018 Tuberculosis can infect the lungs and other parts of body. Andrea K. Mcdaniels,, "Tuberculosis spilled at Hopkins because latch failed," 7 July 2018 Malone suffered multiple injuries, including a fractured pelvis, skill and ribs, a collapsed lung and facial injuries, according to the GoFundMe page. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "California model involved in grisly parasailing accident in Mexico returns to US," 28 June 2018 Three bullets hit White in the back, piercing his lungs and heart. Joe Robertson, kansascity, "No 'cause or provocation': Father sues Topeka police for killing his son," 28 June 2018 UC Davis oncologist David Gandara reported a retrospective analysis of seven different trials of the checkpoint inhibitor Tecentriq in lung and bladder cancer, melanoma, and other tumors. Ken Garber, Science | AAAS, "Mutation-counting blood test could predict if cutting-edge immunotherapies can beat a cancer," 27 June 2018 Dangers of carbon monoxide Carbon monoxide enters your bloodstream through the lungs and blocks oxygen, according to the Coast Guard. Lauren Castle, azcentral, "Carbon monoxide can be silent killer of boaters. Here's how to stay safe," 21 June 2018 The mixture of ocean water and lava also produces a toxic cloud called laze that the agency says can irritate people's eyes, lungs and skin. Alex Sundby, CBS News, "Video shows explosions as Pacific Ocean waves hit molten lava on Hawaii coast," 13 June 2018 In handcuffs and jail attire, Chapa said the killing was in retaliation for Pantoja’s running Jimenez down with his pickup the previous June, leaving him with a fractured hip, collapsed lung and other injuries. Bruce Selcraig, San Antonio Express-News, "Accused in S.A. murder trial found not guilty," 12 July 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


Phrases Related to lung

at the top of one's lungs

Statistics for lung

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lung

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

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More Definitions for lung



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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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).


one that holds something together

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