: the dense fibrous opaque white outer coat enclosing the eyeball except the part covered by the cornea see eye illustration
scleral adjective

Examples of sclera in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During a trabeculectomy, the surgeon will make a small incision in the white part of your eye (the sclera) and remove a portion of the tissue so the eye can drain better. Amy Marturana Winderl, Cpt, Health, 25 Nov. 2023 The uvea is the middle layer of the eye between the sclera (white part) and the retina (the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye). Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Nov. 2023 The injury caused a rupture to his left choroid, which is the part of the eye located between the sclera, or whites of the eye, and the retina, the layer of cells lining the internal wall at the back of the eye, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Nikki Dobrin, Peoplemag, 1 Sep. 2023 In his bust, Gurche chose to make the sclera—the whites of the eyes—dark, consistent with their coloration in modern apes. Jennifer Barone, Discover Magazine, 27 Oct. 2010 The ability to wrinkle the brow — which is not found in wolves — exposes the sclera, or white of the eye, and is one of a number of factors that gives domestic dogs a more puppy-like appearance. Richard Pallardy, Discover Magazine, 16 Dec. 2021 The sclera white, as compact as porcelain. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 12 Apr. 2021 The researchers think that humans likely prefer interacting with subjects with visible sclera, hence the focus on puppy dog eyes. Jennifer Walter, Discover Magazine, 18 June 2019 Notice the white of the eye or sclera (arrow) shows the eye rotated toward the fish. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 1 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sclera.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Greek sklēros

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sclera was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near sclera

Cite this Entry

“Sclera.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sclera. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: the dense fibrous white or bluish white tissue that forms the outer covering of the back five-sixths of the eye and is replaced in front by the transparent cornea with which it is continuous

Medical Definition


: the dense fibrous opaque white outer coat enclosing the eyeball except the part covered by the cornea

called also sclerotic, sclerotic coat

More from Merriam-Webster on sclera

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