Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A narrow strip of land connecting two larger masses of land.
  • n. Anatomy A narrow strip of tissue joining two larger organs or parts of an organ.
  • n. Anatomy A narrow passage connecting two larger cavities.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A narrow strip of land, bordered on both sides by water, and connecting two larger landmasses.
  • n. Any such narrow part connecting two larger structures.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A neck or narrow slip of land by which two continents are connected, or by which a peninsula is united to the mainland

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A narrow strip of land bordered by water and connecting two larger bodies of land, as two continents, a continent and a peninsula, or two parts of an island.
  • n. In botany and zoology, some connecting part or organ, especially when narrow or joining parts larger than itself.
  • n. The contracted passage from the cavity of the mouth into that of the pharynx.
  • n. In fishes, the lower part of the septum between the opposing gill-openings. It is supported and stiffened by the urohyal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a cord-like tissue connecting two larger parts of an anatomical structure
  • n. a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin, from Greek isthmos.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Via Latin isthmus, from Ancient Greek ἰσθμός (isthmos, "neck"). Cognate to Old Norse eið ("isthmus").

Examples

Comments

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  • Placed on this isthmus of a middle state,

    A being darkly wise, and rudely great

    from 'The Riddle of the World,' Alexander Pope

    February 28, 2009

  • And from the Little Rascals, "isthmus be my lucky day."

    October 11, 2007

  • And for people with a lisp, an extremely difficult word to pronounce. ;-)

    August 9, 2007

  • In geography: a narrow portion of land, enclosed on each side by water, and connecting two larger bodies of land; a neck of land.

    In anatomy, zoology, and botany: A narrow part or organ connecting two larger parts; esp. the narrow passage connecting the cavity of the mouth with that of the pharynx.

    February 5, 2007