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 usually one of a series of small apertures located along each side of the thorax and abdomen — see insect illustration • spiracular adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

(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 — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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 — 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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