nos·​tril | \ ˈnä-strəl How to pronounce nostril (audio) \

Definition of nostril

1 : either of the external nares broadly : either of the nares with the adjoining passage on the same side of the septum
2 : either fleshy lateral wall of the nose

Examples of nostril in a Sentence

My left nostril is stuffed up. She left in a rage, her nostrils flaring.
Recent Examples on the Web Putting a finger on or inside your nostril can inadvertently transmit any bacteria or viruses on that finger into your nose, creating the perfect scenario for an infection, according to the US National Library of Medicine. Maggie O'neill,, 22 Sep. 2021 Manson allegedly returned a second time, covering one side of his nostril and blowing in Fountain’s direction. Michael Casey, USA TODAY, 18 Aug. 2021 The test -- the Pixel by Labcorp -- is designed for users taking a swab of their nostril and then sticking it into a solution. Matthew Vann, ABC News, 12 Apr. 2021 Failing and then flailing, a bored Reardon put a magnet in his nostril. Steve Mirsky, Scientific American, 26 May 2020 Heading into the D-Day remembrance weekend this year, only the salty brine coming off the ocean on Omaha Beach hits the nostrils, the shrieks of seagulls pierce the ears and a sense of desolation hangs across the region's country roads. Fox News, 5 June 2020 Not quite in the same way as whisky fumes in the nostrils, though. The Economist, 23 May 2020 Draw deeply on the cigar, expand the nostrils to take in oxygen, reach slowly over the side of the tub to flick ash into the toilet. Katherine Dunn, The New Yorker, 4 May 2020 Those swabs, from all over Alaska, have been deep within the nostrils of people who might have the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Anchorage Daily News, 25 Apr. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of nostril

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for nostril

Middle English nosethirl, from Old English nosthyrl, from nosu nose + thyrel hole; akin to Old English thurh through

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Time Traveler for nostril

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The first known use of nostril was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Nostril.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for nostril


nos·​tril | \ ˈnä-strəl How to pronounce nostril (audio) \

Kids Definition of nostril

: either of the outer openings of the nose through which people and many animals breathe


nos·​tril | \ ˈnäs-trəl How to pronounce nostril (audio) \

Medical Definition of nostril

1 : either of the external nares broadly : either of the nares with the adjoining passage on the same side of the nasal septum
2 : either fleshy lateral wall of the nose

More from Merriam-Webster on nostril

Nglish: Translation of nostril for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of nostril for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about nostril


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