Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A small angular cavity or pit, such as a honeycomb cell.
  • noun A tooth socket in the jawbone.
  • noun A tiny, thin-walled, capillary-rich sac in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In general, any little cell, pit, cavity, fossa, or socket, as one of the cells of a honeycomb, etc. Also called alveole.
  • noun Specifically, in zoology: The socket of a tooth; the pit in a jaw-bone in which a tooth is inserted.
  • noun An air-cell; one of the compartments, about one hundredth of an inch in diameter, which line the infundibula and alveolar passages of the lungs.
  • noun One of the pits or compartments in the mucous membrane of the second stomach of a ruminant; a cell of ”honeycomb” tripe. See cut under ruminant.
  • noun A certain vacant space in the sarcode of a radiolarian, either within or without the capsule. Pascoe.
  • noun A cell or pit in certain fossils, as in an alveolite.
  • noun One of the ultimate follicles of a racemose gland. See acinus, 2 .
  • noun One of the five hollow cuneate calcareous dentigerous pieces which enter into the composition of the complex dentary apparatus or oral skeleton of a sea-urchin. See lantern of Aristotle (under lantern), and cuts under clypeastrid and Echinoidea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A cell in a honeycomb.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A small cavity in a coral, shell, or fossil.
  • noun (Anat.) A small depression, sac, or vesicle, as the socket of a tooth, the air cells of the lungs, the ultimate saccules of glands, etc.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small cavity or pit.
  • noun anatomy an anatomical structure that has the form of a hollow cavity
  • noun anatomy a small air sac in the lungs, where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged with the blood.

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

  • noun a tiny sac for holding air in the lungs; formed by the terminal dilation of tiny air passageways
  • noun a bony socket in the alveolar ridge that holds a tooth

Etymologies

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

[Latin, small hollow, diminutive of alveus, a hollow, from alvus, belly.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin alveolus, a diminutive of alveus ("a tray, trough, basin"), from alvus ("the belly, the stomach, bowels, womb, etc.").

Examples

  • The light from the Proteus penetrated through what seemed to him a vast thickness of tissue and in its muted intensity, the alveolus was a tremendous cavern, with walls that glinted moistly and distantly.

    Fantastic Voyage

  • At the end of each bronchiole are tiny sacs called alveoli, each one of them lined with a thin layer of fluid that keeps each alveolus open.

    You Raising Your Child

  • At the end of each bronchiole are tiny sacs called alveoli, each one of them lined with a thin layer of fluid that keeps each alveolus open.

    You Raising Your Child

  • At the end of each bronchiole are tiny sacs called alveoli, each one of them lined with a thin layer of fluid that keeps each alveolus open.

    You Raising Your Child

  • At the end of each bronchiole are tiny sacs called alveoli, each one of them lined with a thin layer of fluid that keeps each alveolus open.

    You Raising Your Child

  • Initially growing downwards – like any normal mammalian upper canine – it is then rotated as the alveolus itself turns to force the tooth upwards, and it eventually emerges from the dorsal surface of the snout.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • Initially growing downwards – like any normal mammalian upper canine – it is then rotated as the alveolus itself turns to force the tooth upwards, and it eventually emerges from the dorsal surface of the snout.

    The deer-pig, the Raksasa, the only living anthracothere… welcome to the world of babirusas

  • Elizabeth you siren me, coriander. glasswort you alveolus me, chocks.

    Spam, Spam, Spam and Spoetry

  • When a fertilized egg is laid by the queen bee in an ordinary alveolus and the larva is fed with standard food, a small, sterile female, a worker bee, is born.

    Science's Awesome Frontier

  • But when an egg with a similar genetic code is laid in a larger alveolus and the larva is fed a special food -- the royal jelly -- the resulting insect is a queen bee, a larger, fertile female.

    Science's Awesome Frontier

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