na·​ris | \ ˈner-əs How to pronounce naris (audio) , ˈna-rəs \
variants: or less commonly nare \ ˈner How to pronounce nare (audio) \
plural nares\ ˈner-​ˌēz How to pronounce nares (audio) , ˈna-​ˌrēz \

Definition of naris

: either of the pair of openings of the nose or nasal cavity

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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.

Examples of naris in a Sentence

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, "Parasites Are Ruining the Lovesongs of Darwin’s Finches," 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.

First Known Use of naris

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for naris

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

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Learn More about naris

Time Traveler for naris

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for naris

Last Updated

3 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Naris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for naris


na·​ris | \ ˈner-əs How to pronounce naris (audio) \
plural nares\ -​(ˌ)ēz How to pronounce nares (audio) \

Medical Definition of naris

: either of the pair of openings of the nose

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