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tur·​bi·​nate ˈtər-bə-nət How to pronounce turbinate (audio)
variants or less commonly turbinated
: shaped like a top or an inverted cone
turbinate seed capsule
: relating to or being a turbinate


2 of 2


: one of usually several thin plicated membrane-covered bony or cartilaginous plates on the walls of the nasal chambers

Examples of turbinate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Other tests work by taking mid-turbinate nasal swabs. Dallas News, 31 Jan. 2022 According to a review of studies published in July in PLOS One, a science journal, nasopharyngeal swabs are 98 percent accurate; shallow swabs are 82 percent to 88 percent effective; mid-turbinate swabs perform similarly. New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021
Saline rinses help clear away any mucus and shrink down the nasal turbinates, or soft tissues on the outside of the nasal passage. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 7 Apr. 2024 Under normal circumstances, your nose and nasal turbinates go through something called a nasal cycle. Korin Miller, Health, 1 Oct. 2023 The first channel goes low and relatively slow and spreads through the turbinates before eventually reaching the olfactory region. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2023 The turbinates pass the air on to the olfactory region lined with olfactory epithelium, which detects odors. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 8 July 2023 For me that was daily soft-palate exercises, a tennis-ball T-shirt, and that turbinate surgery, which greatly reduced my snoring. Paul Kita, Men's Health, 15 Dec. 2022 So anybody who’s using the deep turbinate now is just out of date. Steven Levy, Wired, 7 Aug. 2020 Research published this spring suggested that the mid-turbinate swabbing was sensitive enough, and could be done more quickly. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, 20 May 2020 Specimen collection device: The mid-turbinate swab is not an FDA/CDC Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approved specimen type. Sam MacHkovech, Ars Technica, 24 Apr. 2020

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

Word History



Latin turbinatus, from turbin-, turbo

First Known Use


1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1873, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of turbinate was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near turbinate

Cite this Entry

“Turbinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbinate. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
tur·​bi·​nate ˈtər-bə-nət How to pronounce turbinate (audio) -ˌnāt How to pronounce turbinate (audio)
: of, relating to, or being a nasal concha


2 of 2 noun

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