Definitions

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

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In fishes, the lower part of the septum between the opposing gill-openings. It is supported and stiffened by the urohyal.
  • noun 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.
  • noun In botany and zoology, some connecting part or organ, especially when narrow or joining parts larger than itself.
  • noun The contracted passage from the cavity of the mouth into that of the pharynx.

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

  • noun (Geog.) A neck or narrow slip of land by which two continents are connected, or by which a peninsula is united to the mainland
  • noun (Anat.) See Fauces.

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

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

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

  • noun a cord-like tissue connecting two larger parts of an anatomical structure
  • noun 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

  • On the other side of the isthmus is a sandy beach facing the open ocean.

    Tenacatita: hidden jewel

  • On the other side of the isthmus is a sandy beach facing the open ocean.

    Tenacatita: hidden jewel

  • The isthmus is noted for its nearly constant wind generated by the fact that it is between two seas, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and there is a gap here in the high sierra so the winds blow through that gap to the extent they can actually upend truck carraiges.

    The Isthmus of Tehuantepec

  • I picked up the book, looked at the attractive cover, and thought, wow, 350 pages of history about the isthmus is more than I want to read.

    The Isthmus: Stories from Mexico's Past, 1495-1995

  • I picked up the book, looked at the attractive cover, and thought, wow, 350 pages of history about the isthmus is more than I want to read.

    The Isthmus: Stories from Mexico's Past, 1495-1995 by Bruce Stores

  • This isthmus is filled with energy generating windmills taking advantage of the almost constant high velocity winds known to tip over giant trucks and it has everything to do with the ferocious winds created by a break in the mountain barriers between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific that occurs only on the isthmus as you will understand if you review your maps and are contemplative.

    Magical Drive

  • The isthmus is noted for its nearly constant wind generated by the fact that it is between two seas, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and there is a gap here in the high sierra so the winds blow through that gap to the extent they can actually upend truck carraiges.

    The Isthmus of Tehuantepec

  • They had been established to buffer the central isthmus from the periodic shocks and invasions emanating from the Indian country to their east.

    The Door of the Seas and Key to the Universe: Indian Politics and Imperial Rivalry in the Dari

  • The Central American isthmus is a region of great contrasts, but also of heartening unison.

    Oscar Arias Sánchez - Nobel Lecture

  • In post-conflict countries, such as those found in the Latin American isthmus, this is particularly true.

    Noah Marwil: Effecting Change Starts With the Community

Comments

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  • 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

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

    August 9, 2007

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

    October 11, 2007

  • 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