oto·​lith | \ ˈō-tə-ˌlith How to pronounce otolith (audio) \

Definition of otolith

: a calcareous concretion in the inner ear of a vertebrate or in the otocyst of an invertebrate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from otolith

otolithic \ ˌō-​tə-​ˈli-​thik How to pronounce otolithic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of otolith in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Changes to otolith size could affect fish hearing and orientation, researchers say. Elizabeth Preston, Science | AAAS, "A growing sensory smog threatens the ability of fish to communicate, navigate, and survive," 20 June 2019 Under extreme high carbon dioxide conditions, the ocean acidifies, affecting, among other things, the development of a fish’s otoliths, or ear bones. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "What Will Be the Last Fish?," 10 Dec. 2018 In those individuals, Balaban says, further tests implicated damage to the ear's otolith organs, the utricle and the saccule, key to sensing gravity. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Sonic attack or mass paranoia? New evidence stokes debate over diplomats’ mysterious illness," 20 June 2018 Determining a bony fish's age can be easily done by analyzing their otoliths, or ear stones. National Geographic, "272-Year-Old Shark Is Longest-Lived Vertebrate on Earth," 11 Aug. 2016

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

See More

First Known Use of otolith

circa 1836, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for otolith

French otolithe, from ot- + -lithe -lith

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about otolith

Dictionary Entries near otolith








Statistics for otolith

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for otolith

The first known use of otolith was circa 1836

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for otolith


oto·​lith | \ ˈōt-ᵊl-ˌith How to pronounce otolith (audio) \

Medical Definition of otolith

: a calcareous concretion in the inner ear of a vertebrate or in the otocyst of an invertebrate that is especially conspicuous in many bony fishes where it forms a hard body and in most of the higher vertebrates where it is represented by a mass of small calcareous otoconia

called also statolith

Other Words from otolith

otolithic \ ˌōt-​ᵊl-​ˈith-​ik How to pronounce otolithic (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on otolith

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about otolith

Comments on otolith

What made you want to look up otolith? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!