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

  • n. An opening or orifice, as in a bone or in the covering of the ovule of a plant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an opening, an orifice; a short passage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small opening, perforation, or orifice; a fenestra.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy and zoology, a hole or an opening; an orifice; a fissure; a short passage.
  • n. In botany, an opening of any kind; specifically, the orifice of the coats of the ovule.
  • n. See the adjectives.
  • n. The carotid canal itself.
  • n. Posterior, for the passage of a vein.
  • n. Of the medulla oblongata, a cul-de-sac forming the termination of the anterior median fissure behind the pons. Also called foramen cæcum of Vicq d'Azyr.
  • n. Of the tongue, a depression about the large middle circumvallate papilla.
  • n. Of the sphenoid bone, a hole in the greater wing of the sphenoid, or between this and the temporal bone, for the passage of the third division of the fifth cranial nerve. See cut under sphenoid.

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

  • n. a natural opening or perforation through a bone or a membranous structure


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

Latin forāmen, an opening, from forāre, to bore.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin forāmen ("aperture, opening").



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  • "This was nothing more than a small propeller, or series of them, mounted in a tubular foramen wrought through the body of the aerostat, drawing in air at one end and forcing it out the other to generate thrust."

    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, p 56 of the Spectra trade paperback

    May 17, 2016

  • "A somewhat rare congenital condition of the sternum is a sternal foramen, a single round hole in the breastbone that is present from birth and usually is off-centered to the right or left, commonly forming in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th segments of the breastbone body. Congenital sternal foramens can often be mistaken for bullet holes."


    July 9, 2015