AskDefine | Define nostril

Dictionary Definition

nostril n : either one of the two external openings to the nasal cavity in the nose [syn: anterior naris]

User Contributed Dictionary



From nose + thirl.


  • , /ˈnɒstrɪl/, /ˈnɒstrəl/, /"nQstrIl/, /"nQstr@l/


  1. Either of the two orifices located on the nose (or on the beak of a bird); used as a passage for air and other gases to travel the nasal passages.



either of the two orifices located on the nose


Extensive Definition

A nostril (or naris, pl. nares) is one of the two channels of the nose, from the point where they bifurcate to the external opening. In birds and mammals, they contain branched bones or cartilages called turbinates, whose function is to warm air on inhalation and remove moisture on exhalation. Fish do not breathe through their noses, but they do have two small holes used for smelling which may be called nostrils.
The Procellariiformes are distinguished from other birds by having tubular extensions of their nostrils.
In humans, the nasal cycle is the normal ultradian cycle of each nostril's blood vessels becoming engorged in swelling, then shrinking. During the course of a day, they will switch over approximately every four hours or so, meaning that only one nostril is used at any one time.


External links

nostril in Arabic: منخر
nostril in Catalan: Nariu
nostril in Dhivehi: ނޭފަތުގެ ހިނދުރި
nostril in Spanish: Narinas
nostril in French: Narine
nostril in Korean: 콧구멍
nostril in Hebrew: נחיר
nostril in Japanese: 鼻孔
nostril in Newari: नासिका
nostril in Portuguese: Narina
nostril in Sicilian: Nasca (narici)
nostril in Simple English: Nostril
nostril in Swedish: Näsborre
nostril in Ukrainian: Ніздрі

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

air duct, air hole, air passage, air shaft, air tube, airway, antlia, beak, beezer, bill, blowhole, breathing hole, bugle, conk, louver, louverwork, muffle, muzzle, nares, naris, neb, nib, nose, nostrils, nozzle, olfactories, olfactory area, olfactory cell, olfactory nerves, olfactory organ, olfactory pit, pecker, proboscis, rhinarium, rostrum, schnozzle, shaft, smeller, snoot, snout, spilehole, spiracle, touchhole, transom, trunk, vent, ventage, venthole, ventiduct, ventilating shaft, ventilator, wind tunnel
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