pleu·​ra | \ ˈplu̇r-ə How to pronounce pleura (audio) \
plural pleurae\ ˈplu̇r-​ˌē How to pronounce pleura (audio) , -​ˌī \ or pleuras

Definition of pleura

: the delicate serous membrane that lines each half of the thorax of mammals and is folded back over the surface of the lung of the same side

Other Words from pleura

pleural \ ˈplu̇r-​əl How to pronounce pleura (audio) \ adjective

Examples of pleura in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The parietal pleura is a membrane that folds back on itself to form a two-layered sac. Howard Cohen Miami Herald (tns), al, 26 July 2022 The parietal pleura is a membrane that's bound by connective tissue to the inner surface of the chest wall, and plays a major role in the formation and removal of pleural fluid, according to Science Direct. Rachel Desantis,, 25 July 2022 Pleural inflammation is often accompanied by a buildup of fluid between two layers of the pleura (pleural effusion). SELF, 26 Nov. 2020 The tissue surrounding the lungs, known as the pleura (PLOOR-uh), can become inflamed. SELF, 26 Nov. 2020 It is caused by the buildup of cancer cells and excess fluid in the pleura (aka the tissues that cover and protect the lungs). Jessie Van Amburg,, 20 Sep. 2021 The tissue that lines the chest cavity and the outside of the lungs is called the pleura. Brittany Risher, Woman's Day, 13 Nov. 2020 Under normal conditions, viewers see a reflection of the pleura as a series of equidistant horizontal lines, called A lines, throughout those organs. Lina Zeldovich, Scientific American, 11 June 2020 To check for them, doctors look at the pleura, the membrane that envelops each lung. Lina Zeldovich, Scientific American, 11 June 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of pleura

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pleura

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Greek, rib, side

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The first known use of pleura was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pleura.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for pleura


pleu·​ra | \ ˈplu̇r-ə How to pronounce pleura (audio) \
plural pleurae\ ˈplu̇r-​ē How to pronounce pleura (audio) \ or pleuras

Medical Definition of pleura

: either of a pair of two-walled sacs of serous membrane each of which lines one lateral half of the thorax, has an inner visceral layer closely adherent to the corresponding lung, is reflected at the root of the lung to form a parietal layer that adheres to the walls of the thorax, the pericardium, the upper surface of the diaphragm, and adjacent parts, and contains a small amount of serous fluid that minimizes the friction of respiratory movements

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