mastoid

1 of 2

adjective

mas·​toid ˈma-ˌstȯid How to pronounce mastoid (audio)
1
: being the process of the temporal bone behind the ear
also : being any of several bony elements that occupy a similar position in the skull of lower vertebrates
2
: of, relating to, or occurring in the region of the mastoid process

mastoid

2 of 2

noun

: a mastoid bone or process

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
From childhood, when a mastoid operation resulted in permanent eardrum damage and hearing loss, she had been fascinated with eyes, watching for cues to amplify what was being said. New York Times, 28 June 2022 Then the surgeon will remove any infected mastoid bone or tissue, stitch up the cut, and bandage the wound. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 According to the Independent, the placement of the cuts suggests the patient had a mastoidectomy—surgery undertaken to treat an infection of the mastoid bones, which are located just behind each ear. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Feb. 2022 Surgical treatment for the cholesteatoma depends on the extent of the mass and may require removal of some of the mastoid bone. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 7 July 2021 But just behind this patient’s ear, nestled into the lower edge of the mastoid bone of the skull, was a big bright cloud of white. New York Times, 31 Mar. 2021 Before putting on the headset, a Modius worker used an alcoholic wipe to clean the skin along the mastoid bone behind my ears and then affix an adhesive pad with electrodes. Edward C. Baig, USA TODAY, 25 Feb. 2018 A doctor said Hoffman had damaged his mastoid bone and required surgery. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, 15 May 2017
Noun
Insets: enlarged images of the cut marks in the left ear, next to the mastoid. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 But cholesteatoma tends to erode the bony wall (scutum) separating the ear canal from the mastoid, and the scutum was intact on both sides of the woman's skull. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 24 Feb. 2022 A doctor tried to resolve the problem with an operation on the mastoid that left him deaf in one ear. Frederick N. Rasmussen, baltimoresun.com, 17 Aug. 2017 Part of the rear of the skull called the mastoid bears some telltale otter traits, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles paleontologist Xiaoming Wang and colleagues write, but the first molar— Brian Switek, Smithsonian, 23 Jan. 2017 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

borrowed from New Latin mastoīdēs, borrowed from Greek mastoeidḗs "like a breast or nipple" (in mastoeideîs apophýseis "mastoid processes," from the nipple-like protuberance formed by the bone), from mastós "breast, nipple" (probably from a pre-Greek substratal language) + -oidēs -oid entry 1

Noun

by ellipsis from mastoid process, mastoid bone, etc.

First Known Use

Adjective

1732, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mastoid was in 1732

Dictionary Entries Near mastoid

Cite this Entry

“Mastoid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mastoid. Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

mastoid 1 of 2

adjective

mas·​toid ˈmas-ˌtȯid How to pronounce mastoid (audio)
: of, relating to, or being the mastoid process
also : occurring in the region of the mastoid process

mastoid

2 of 2

noun

: a mastoid bone or process

Medical Definition

mastoid 1 of 2

adjective

mas·​toid ˈmas-ˌtȯid How to pronounce mastoid (audio)
: of, relating to, or being the mastoid process
also : occurring in the region of the mastoid process

mastoid

2 of 2

noun

: a mastoid bone or process

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