mucous membrane


Definition of mucous membrane

: 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 : mucosa Pruritus and congestion involving mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth are frequently observed, and swelling of the lips or tongue may impair swallowing and ventilation. — Bruce S. Bochner et al.

Examples of mucous membrane in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a huge amount of damage to the skin that occurs; alcohol affects any mucous membrane, from the pancreas and liver to the skin. Vogue, "Why Giving Up Alcohol Could Transform Your Skin," 24 Apr. 2019 Your nose is lined with mucous membranes that constantly trap pathogens and debris. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019 The sneeze reflex is usually activated when your nose’s mucous membranes are irritated. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Quick Question: Why Do We Sneeze?," 8 Mar. 2019 The attacks involve swelling of the skin, mucous membranes or both. Jen Christensen, CNN, "The 5 most expensive drugs in the United States," 11 May 2018 Mostly these just further inflamed mucous membranes already unhappy with the rarefied air, although someone was running something that evidently came in Tropical Punch flavor. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "7:57:148—Volkswagen makes racing history with record-breaking electric race car," 29 June 2018 An animal with rabies can also transmit the rabies virus through its saliva, which can come in contact with a person's mucous membranes (mouth, nose, eyes) or can get in open wounds on the skin. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 12 June 2018 Your eyelids can get red as part of all that inflammation, and your actual eyes can take on a red hue if the blood vessels in your conjunctiva (the mucous membrane on the front of your eyes and the insides of your eyelids) widen due to irritation. Korin Miller, SELF, "10 Symptoms of Blepharitis, a Bizarre Condition That Can Affect Your Eyes," 7 June 2018

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

circa 1771, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for mucous membrane

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for mucous membrane

The first known use of mucous membrane was circa 1771

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More Definitions for mucous membrane

mucous membrane


English Language Learners Definition of mucous membrane

: a thin, wet layer of skin that is inside some parts of the body (such as the nose and throat) and that produces mucus

mucous membrane


Medical Definition of mucous membrane

: a moist membranous layer 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, that functions in protection, support, nutrient absorption, and secretion of mucus, enzymes, and salts, and that is composed of epithelium supported below by the lamina propria and sometimes by the muscularis mucosae

called also mucosa

— compare serous membrane

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mucous membrane

Britannica English: Translation of mucous membrane for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about mucous membrane

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