na·​ris ˈner-əs How to pronounce naris (audio)
variants or less commonly nare
plural nares ˈner-ˌēz How to pronounce naris (audio)
: either of the pair of openings of the nose or nasal cavity
Usage of Naris and Nare

The spelling naris is the more usual singular form of this noun. The singular spelling variant nare is a back-formation from the plural form nares. As such, nare is often criticized, but it does appear occasionally in published, edited medical sources.

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The ravenous larvae then feed on their victims’ keratin, tissue and blood, eventually moving from the nares to feed externally on the developing birds. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 13 June 2019

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

Word History


borrowed from Latin nāris, plural nārēs "nostril"; akin to Latin nāsus "nose" — more at nose entry 1

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of naris was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near naris

Cite this Entry

“Naris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2023.

Medical Definition


na·​ris ˈner-əs How to pronounce naris (audio)
plural nares -(ˌ)ēz How to pronounce naris (audio)
: either of the pair of openings of the nose
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