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 The nose has a number of defense systems to keep pathogens out, including hair at the front of the nostrils to block larger particles and the mucous membrane. Starre Vartan, CNN, "Why picking your nose isn't just gross — it's dangerous in the time of coronavirus," 28 Dec. 2020 Symptoms associated with exposure included lightheadedness, dizziness, mucous membrane irritation, cough, respiratory distress and burning skin., "From the Files of The Farmer," 27 Oct. 2020 One question reads: Did the patient have new skin, nail, hair, mucous membrane or other dermatologic changes in the setting of possible or confirmed COVID-19? Angie Leventis Lourgos,, "Hair loss. Memory problems. Strange rashes. COVID-19 patients report a litany of symptoms outside official criteria, some persisting for months.," 30 Sep. 2020 Inside your nose, the molecules are absorbed through the mucous membrane that lines your nasal cavities. Popular Science, "What Makes Things Stink?," 18 Sep. 2020 The hymen, a thin fold of mucous membrane around the vaginal opening, has long been thought of as a sign of purity. Rachel Jacoby Zoldan, Glamour, "25 Amazing Vagina Facts All Women Should Know," 4 Aug. 2020 Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains that the virus may spread when infectious droplets enter any mucous membrane, a reason why experts have asked Americans to refrain from touching their face as much as possible. Zee Krstic, Good Housekeeping, "Should I Wear a Face Shield? Experts Explain Why Shields Boost COVID-19 Safety," 31 July 2020 Infection comes when the droplets enter the nose, mouth or any mucous membrane, such as the eyes. Leada Gore |, al, "Coronavirus update: People should wear goggles or face shields as well as masks, Fauci urges," 31 July 2020 You're Exposed to Tear Gas Tear gas is a thick, powdery fog that sticks to moisture, like saliva, sweat, tears, and mucous membranes and causes an intense burning sensation. Louryn Strampe, Wired, "How to Protest Safely: What to Bring, What to Do, and What to Avoid," 2 June 2020

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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The first known use of mucous membrane was circa 1771

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mucous membrane.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on mucous membrane

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

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