\ ˈləŋ How to pronounce lung (audio) \

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 How to pronounce lung (audio) \ noun

Examples of lung in a Sentence

He filled his lungs with the clean. fresh air.
Recent Examples on the Web Doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles put the teenager on a ventilator and a heart-lung bypass machine. New York Times, "Covid-Linked Syndrome in Children Is Growing and Cases Are More Severe," 16 Feb. 2021 Even a totalitarian government like China’s will have to respond to the demands of its own citizens for cleaner skies and an end to lung-damaging pollution. WSJ, "U.S. Diplomacy, China and Climate Change," 15 Feb. 2021 When Trump did get to the hospital, he was found to have lung infiltrates, which appear when the lungs are inflamed and contain substances such as fluid or bacteria, people familiar tell the Times. TheWeek, "Trump's case of COVID-19 was reportedly more serious than the White House admitted," 11 Feb. 2021 Medical experts at the time believed that his medication course was a clear signal of significant lung issues related to his lungs. Noah Weiland, Star Tribune, "Trump was sicker than acknowledged with COVID-19," 11 Feb. 2021 The life-support machine pulls blood out of the body and filters it through an artificial lung, which then infiltrates the blood with oxygen while removing carbon dioxide, before returning the oxygenated blood to the body. Cassidy Morrison, Washington Examiner, "COVID ICU nurse among the majority of fellow staff who have endured the disease," 4 Feb. 2021 Still, Mayer realizes that more will be learned of the long-term effects on lung and heart functions as data is analyzed. Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY, "How these NFL players who had COVID-19 returned to play," 28 Jan. 2021 As its name suggests, this strange fish lives in Australia and can breathe air when water is scarce or low in oxygen using a single, oblong lung, according to the Australian Museum. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Australian Lungfish Has Biggest Genome Ever Sequenced," 27 Jan. 2021 The fact that Jordan’s family is grieving his death is compounded by the fact that his mother died in August after battling lung and bone cancer. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "How Ty Jordan’s death impacted Ute student athletes: ‘Overwhelming to consider’," 15 Jan. 2021

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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Time Traveler for lung

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for lung

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lung.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 How to pronounce lung (audio) \

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 How to pronounce lung (audio) \

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

Nglish: Translation of lung for Spanish Speakers

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

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