tra·​gus | \ ˈtrā-gəs How to pronounce tragus (audio) \
plural tragi\ ˈtrā-​ˌgī How to pronounce tragus (audio) , -​ˌjī \

Definition of tragus

: the prominence in front of the external opening of the outer ear

Lend Us Your Ear for the History of Tragus

The tragus is the tongue-like projection of the outer ear. Its name comes from the Greek word tragos, meaning "he-goat." According to hearsay, the Greek word was influenced by Peloponnesian tragedy. In this style of drama, satyrs were represented as goatlike creatures, and their prominent ears became associated with a feature of our own human ears. Tragos contributed to the English language in another way as well; it is also the word from which tragedy is derived.

Examples of tragus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Typically, Carillo buffs the Huda Beauty Tantour Contour & Bronzer Cream upwards from the cheekbones to the tragus. Devon Abelman, Allure, 8 Jan. 2020 Worryingly, Salsola tragus, one of the parent species of Salsola ryanii, has shown resistance to glyphosate, a common herbicide. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 9 Sep. 2019 The tragus is one of those piercings that has never really died down. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, 15 Dec. 2017 Starting at your tragus (the little nub at the center of your ear), move the color just below your cheekbone until your brush is parallel to the eye. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 18 Mar. 2016 Grab a fan brush and using its flat side, apply color from your tragus (the little nub at the center of your ear) to the corner of your mouth, and blend very well. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, 18 Mar. 2016

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

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First Known Use of tragus

1615, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tragus

New Latin, from Greek tragos, a part of the ear, literally, goat

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Dictionary Entries Near tragus



trahison des clercs

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Cite this Entry

“Tragus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for tragus


tra·​gus | \ ˈtrā-gəs How to pronounce tragus (audio) \
plural tragi\ -​ˌgī How to pronounce tragus (audio) , -​ˌjī How to pronounce tragus (audio) \

Medical Definition of tragus

: a small projection in front of the external opening of the ear


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