peri·​os·​te·​um | \ ˌper-ē-ˈä-stē-əm How to pronounce periosteum (audio) \
plural periostea\ ˌper-​ē-​ˈä-​stē-​ə How to pronounce periostea (audio) \

Definition of periosteum

: the membrane of connective tissue that closely invests all bones except at the articular surfaces

Examples of periosteum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Doctors think surfer’s ear happens because the thin skin of the ear canal doesn’t protect the bone from cold water, which causes inflammation in the membrane on the outside of the bone, called the periosteum. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "The skulls of ancient pearl divers come with abnormal ear canal bone growths," 28 Dec. 2018

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

First Known Use of periosteum

1574, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for periosteum

New Latin, from Late Latin periosteon, from Greek, neuter of periosteos around the bone, from peri- + osteon bone — more at osseous

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Time Traveler for periosteum

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The first known use of periosteum was in 1574

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Cite this Entry

“Periosteum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for periosteum


peri·​os·​te·​um | \ -tē-əm How to pronounce periosteum (audio) \
plural periostea\ -​tē-​ə How to pronounce periostea (audio) \

Medical Definition of periosteum

: the membrane of connective tissue that closely invests all bones except at the articular surfaces

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