from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A sewer or latrine.
- n. Zoology The common cavity into which the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open in vertebrates such as fish, reptiles, birds, and some primitive mammals.
- n. Zoology The posterior part of the intestinal tract in various invertebrates.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A sewer.
- n. A privy.
- n. The common duct in fish, reptiles, birds and some primitive mammals that serves as the anus as well as the genital opening.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A sewer.
- n. A privy.
- n. The common chamber into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals discharge in birds, reptiles, amphibians, and many fishes.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An underground conduit for drainage; a common sewer: as, the cloaca maxima at Rome.
- n. A sink; a privy.
- n. [NL.] In zoology: In vertebrates, the enlarged termination of the rectum or lower bowel, forming a cavity originally in common with that of the allantois (in those animals which have an allantois) and permanently in common with the termination of the urogenital organs; the common chamber into which the intestine, ureters, sperm-ducts, and oviducts open, in sundry fishes, in reptiles and birds, and in the ornithodelphous mammals.
- n. In invertebrates, the homologous or analogous and corresponding structure effecting sewerage of the body: as in sponges, the common cavity in which the interstitial canal-systems open; in holothurians, the respiratory tree (which see, under respiratory).
- n. In entomology: A cavity found in many insects at the end of the abdomen, between the last dorsal and ventral segments, and receiving the extremity of the rectum. Also called the rectogenital chamber. The cæcum, or dilatation of the posterior end of the intestine.
- n. In ascidians, the common central cavity into which open the atrial chambers of all the ascidiozooids of an ascidiarium.
- n. [NL.] In pathology: In cases of necrosis, the opening in the sound bone which leads to the inclosed dead bone.
- n. The union of rectum, bladder, and organs of generation in a common outlet: a malformation resulting from arrest of development.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (zoology) the cavity (in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes but not mammals) at the end of the digestive tract into which the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open
- n. a waste pipe that carries away sewage or surface water
Latin cloāca, sewer, canal.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cloāca ("sewer"), from cluō ("cleanse"). (Wiktionary)