from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A spiral-shaped cavity of the inner ear that resembles a snail shell and contains nerve endings essential for hearing.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The complex, spirally coiled, tapered cavity of the inner ear in which sound vibrations are converted into nerve impulses.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. An appendage of the labyrinth of the internal ear, which is elongated and coiled into a spiral in mammals. See ear.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A winding staircase.
- n. In anatomy, a part of the inner ear in most vertebrated animals.
- n. In botany, a closely coiled legume.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the snail-shaped tube (in the inner ear coiled around the modiolus) where sound vibrations are converted into nerve impulses by the organ of Corti
Latin, snail shell, from Greek kokhliās, snail, from kokhlos, land snail.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin cochlea ("snail"), from Ancient Greek κοχλίας (kokhlias, "spiral, snail shell"). (Wiktionary)