mu·​co·​sa myü-ˈkō-zə How to pronounce mucosa (audio)
plural mucosae myü-ˈkō-(ˌ)zē How to pronounce mucosa (audio)
or mucosas
: a membrane rich in mucous glands
specifically : one that lines body cavities and passages (as of the gastrointestinal or respiratory tract) which communicate directly or indirectly with the outside of the body : mucous membrane
… to maximize the absorptive area of the epithelium, the mucosa of the small intestine is remodeled into an intricate array of finger or leaf-like protrusions, known as villi, which extend into the lumen. Benjamin D. Simons
Inhibition of neuraminidase prevents inactivation of influenza virus by respiratory mucus and likely facilitates infection of the airway mucosa. Frederick G. Hayden et al.
mucosal adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web One patient had perforation of the rectosigmoid and 4 had lacerations of the mucosa. Ncbi Rofl, Discover Magazine, 29 Mar. 2013 Their infective feces often enter the bite wound, oral or nasal mucosa, or conjunctivas and transmit the flagellate parasite. Rebecca Kreston, Discover Magazine, 4 Apr. 2011 Behçet's disease is a genetically complex disease of unknown etiology characterized by recurrent inflammatory attacks affecting the orogenital mucosa, eyes and skin. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 26 July 2010 Even though the mucosa is tucked away inside your cheeks, it gets exposed to a lot. Caroline Mimbs Nyce, The Atlantic, 26 Nov. 2022 The spray vaccine didn’t elicit a strong immune response in the nasal mucosa tissue or in the rest of the body of volunteers, according to researchers at the University of Oxford., 11 Oct. 2022 Nine existing vaccines work along these lines, using oral drops to protect the mucosa against diseases such as polio and the flu. The Week Staff, The Week, 14 Aug. 2022 For example, the agency is funding efforts to boost protection in the nasal mucosa, where COVID often takes root. Madison Muller,, 14 Aug. 2022 Like bouncers at a bar, IgA antibodies are the primary immune molecules on guard in the mucosa. Brenda Goodman, CNN, 18 July 2022 See More

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

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, feminine of mucosus mucous

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mucosa was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near mucosa

Cite this Entry

“Mucosa.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition


mu·​co·​sa myü-ˈkō-zə How to pronounce mucosa (audio)
plural mucosae -(ˌ)zē How to pronounce mucosa (audio) -ˌzī How to pronounce mucosa (audio) or mucosas
: a membrane rich in mucous glands that lines body passages and cavities (as of the digestive, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts) which connect directly or indirectly with the exterior : mucous membrane
mucosal adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on mucosa

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