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Late Middle English arterie, borrowing from Old French artaire and Latin artēria (a windpipe; an artery), from Ancient Greek ᾰ̓ρτηρῐ́ᾱ (artēríā, windpipe; artery).



artery (plural arteries)

  1. (anatomy) Any of the muscular- and elastic-walled blood vessels forming part of the circulation system by which blood is conveyed away from the heart regardless of its oxygenation status; see pulmonary artery.
    Hyponyms: alloartery, arteriole, endartery, microartery; see also Thesaurus:artery
    • 2013 July–August, Stephen P. Lownie, David M. Pelz, “Stents to Prevent Stroke”, in American Scientist[1], volume 101, number 4, →DOI, page 292:
      As we age, the major arteries of our bodies frequently become thickened with plaque, a fatty material with an oatmeal-like consistency that builds up along the inner lining of blood vessels. The reason plaque forms isn’t entirely known, but it seems to be related to high levels of cholesterol inducing an inflammatory response, which can also attract and trap more cellular debris over time.
  2. (transport) A major transit corridor in a system of roads, rivers, or railway lines.
    • 1951 April, D. S. Barrie, “British Railways: A Survey, 1948-1950”, in Railway Magazine, number 600, page 232:
      But the importance of the railways as main arteries of the national economy remains undimmed, just as their fascination for the railway enthusiast is surely undiminished.
    • 1973 October 21, “Freeway work on schedule”, in Free China Weekly [自由中國週報]‎[2], volume XIV, number 41, Taipei, →ISSN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 1, column 1:
      Premier Chiang Ching-kuo said October 12 that the North-South Freeway, a 373-kilometer (235-mile) artery along west Taiwan, will have to be completed on schedule by 1978.
    • 2020 May 6, Graeme Pickering, “Borders Railway: time for the next step”, in Rail[3], page 52:
      The 98-mile Edinburgh-Carlisle 'Waverley Route' provided over a century of service as an Anglo-Scottish artery, prior to its closure by British Rail, and its loss provoked anger in the Scottish Borders.

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