Definitions

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

  • noun An abnormal duct or passage resulting from injury, disease, or a congenital disorder that connects an abscess, cavity, or hollow organ to the body surface or to another hollow organ.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A tube or pipe which normally connects some internal part or organ of an animal with the surrounding air or water, as the trachea of an insect or the blow-hole of a whale.
  • noun A reed; a pipe; a wind-instrument of music.
  • noun In the Roman Catholic Church, same as calamus, 4.
  • noun In pathology, a narrow passage or duct, formed by disease or injury, leading from an abscess to a free surface, or furnishing an abnormal means of egress from some normal cavity, as in vesicovaginal fistula.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] In zoology, a genus of polyps.

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

  • noun A reed; a pipe.
  • noun obsolete A pipe for convejing water.
  • noun (Med.) A permanent abnormal opening into the soft parts with a constant discharge; a deep, narrow, chronic abscess; an abnormal opening between an internal cavity and another cavity or the surface
  • noun (Med.) a fistula open at one end only.

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

  • noun medicine An abnormal connection or passageway between organs or vessels that normally do not connect.
  • noun rare A tube, a pipe, or a hole.

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

  • noun an abnormal passage leading from a suppurating cavity to the body surface
  • noun a chronic inflammation of the withers of a horse

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Latin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin fistula ("pipe, ulcer, catheter"), from findō ("cleave, divide, split").

Examples

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