tur·​bi·​nate | \ ˈtər-bə-nət How to pronounce turbinate (audio) , -ˌnāt \
variants: or less commonly turbinated \ ˈtər-​bə-​ˌnā-​təd How to pronounce turbinate (audio) \

Definition of turbinate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : shaped like a top or an inverted cone turbinate seed capsule
2 : relating to or being a turbinate



Definition of turbinate (Entry 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: Adjective 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 New York Times, 18 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So anybody who’s using the deep turbinate now is just out of date.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 Your doctor must know how to make more space by either fixing your septum, which separates the left and right airways, or reducing the size of your turbinates, the structures on the side wall inside the nose. Carlos Wolf, miamiherald, 23 Oct. 2017 All mammals have some ability to do this, even humans, thanks to scroll-like bones called turbinates that increase the surface area inside the nose. Todd Marshall, National Geographic, 4 Feb. 2016 See More

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

First Known Use of turbinate


1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for turbinate


Latin turbinatus, from turbin-, turbo

Learn More About turbinate

Time Traveler for turbinate

Time Traveler

The first known use of turbinate was in 1661

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near turbinate




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for turbinate

Cite this Entry

“Turbinate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turbinate. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for turbinate


tur·​bi·​nate | \ ˈtər-bə-nət How to pronounce turbinate (audio) , -ˌnāt How to pronounce turbinate (audio) \

Medical Definition of turbinate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being a nasal concha



Medical Definition of turbinate (Entry 2 of 2)

More from Merriam-Webster on turbinate

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about turbinate


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!