Spiracle Spir"a*cle, n.[L. spiraculum, fr. spirare to breathe: cf. F. spiracule. See {Spirit}.] 1. (Anat.) The nostril, or one of the nostrils, of whales, porpoises, and allied animals. [1913 Webster]

2. (Zo["o]l.) (a) One of the external openings communicating with the air tubes or trache[ae] of insects, myriapods, and arachnids. They are variable in number, and are usually situated on the sides of the thorax and abdomen, a pair to a segment. These openings are usually elliptical, and capable of being closed. See Illust. under {Coleoptera}. (a) A tubular orifice communicating with the gill cavity of certain ganoid and all elasmobranch fishes. It is the modified first gill cleft. [1913 Webster]

3. Any small aperture or vent for air or other fluid. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

(especially in animal and vegetable bodies), , , ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • spiracle — [ spirakl ] n. m. • 1924; « soupirail » XVIe; lat. spiraculum ♦ Zool. Orifice de sortie de l eau qui a baigné les branchies, chez les têtards de batraciens anoures. ● spiracle nom masculin (latin spiraculum) Orifice de sortie de l eau qui a… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • spiracle — “air hole,” 1610s, from L. spiraculum, from spirare “to breathe” (see SPIRIT (Cf. spirit)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • spiracle — ► NOUN Zoology ▪ an external respiratory opening in insects, cartilaginous fish, and other animals. DERIVATIVES spiracular adjective. ORIGIN Latin spiraculum, from spirare breathe …   English terms dictionary

  • spiracle — [spir′ə kəl, spī′rəkəl] n. [ME < L spiraculum < spirare, to breathe: see SPIRIT] 1. a small opening allowing the outer air to come through into a confined space; air hole 2. Geol. a small vent formed on the surface of a thick lava flow 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Spiracle — Spiracles are small openings on the surface of some animals that usually lead to respiratory systems.In elasmobranchs (sharks and rays), a spiracle is found behind each eye, and is often used to pump water through the gills while the animal is at …   Wikipedia

  • spiracle — spiracular /spuy rak yeuh leuhr, spi /, adj. /spuy reuh keuhl, spir euh /, n. 1. a breathing hole; an opening by which a confined space has communication with the outer air; air hole. 2. Zool. a. an aperture or orifice through which air or water… …   Universalium

  • spiracle — noun Etymology: Middle English, from Latin spiraculum, from spirare to breathe Date: 15th century 1. a breathing hole ; vent 2. a breathing orifice: as a. blowhole 2 b. an external tracheal aperture of a terrestrial arthropod that in an insect is …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • spiracle — a vestigial gill cleft between the eye and the gill slits in Elasmobranchii, Acipenseridae, Polyodontidae, and Polypteridae. Water for respiration is inhaled through the spiracles in Rajiformes. Connects with the gill cavity; often retains… …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • spiracle — n. [L. spirare, to breathe] (ARTHROPODA) A breathing pore or orifice leading to the tracheal or respiratory system; stigma; spiracular adj …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • spiracle — noun /ˈspɪrəkəl/ a) A pore or opening used (especially by spiders and some fish) for breathing. b) The blowhole of a whale …   Wiktionary

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