ra·​phe | \ ˈrā-(ˌ)fē How to pronounce raphe (audio) \

Definition of raphe

1 : the seamlike union of the two lateral halves of a part or organ (such as the tongue) having externally a ridge or furrow
2a : the part of the stalk of an anatropous ovary that is united in growth to the outside covering and forms a ridge along the body of the ovule
b : the median line or slit of the valve of certain diatoms

Examples of raphe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To better understand the role the dorsal raphe neurons play in loneliness, the researchers genetically engineered the dopamine cells to respond to certain wavelengths of light, a technique known as optogenetics. Quanta Magazine, 10 May 2016 The researchers focused on dopamine neurons in a brain region called the dorsal raphe nucleus, best known for its link to depression. Quanta Magazine, 10 May 2016 The region, known as the dorsal raphe nucleus, or D.R.N., is best known for its link to depression. Katie Hafner, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2016

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

First Known Use of raphe

circa 1753, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for raphe

New Latin, from Greek rhaphē seam, from rhaptein to sew

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The first known use of raphe was circa 1753

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Cite this Entry

“Raphe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/raphe. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for raphe


variants: also rhaphe \ ˈrā-​fē How to pronounce raphe (audio) \

Medical Definition of raphe

: the seamlike union of the two lateral halves of a part or organ (as of the tongue, perineum, or scrotum) having externally a ridge or furrow and internally usually a fibrous connective tissue septum

More from Merriam-Webster on raphe

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about raphe


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