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Borrowed from Latin cartilāginōsus (full of cartilage, very gristly), from cartilāgō (cartilage, gristle) +‎ -ōsus (-ous, -ose); compare French cartilagineux. Equivalent to cartilage +‎ -ous, with modifications made to its morphology.



cartilaginous (comparative more cartilaginous, superlative most cartilaginous)

  1. (anatomy) Comprising soft cartilage rather than bone.
    1. Related to or resembling cartilage.
    2. (zoology, of a vertebrate animal) Having a skeleton of cartilage.
      Cartilaginous fish such as the angler fish have a skeletal structure made up of cartilage.
      • 1692, John Ray, “Of Formed Stones, Sea-shells, and Other Marine-like Bodies Found at Great Distances from the Shores?”, in Miscellaneous Discourses Concerning the Dissolution and Changes of the World. [], London: [] Samuel Smith, [], →OCLC, page 109:
        [T]here are other Bodies beſides Shells found in the Earth, reſembling the Teeth and Bones of ſome Fiſhes, [] the Vertebres of Thornbacks and other Cartilagineous Fiſhes there found, and ſold for Stones among the Gloſſopetræ, []
  2. (mycology) Having a tough or fibrous texture, usually in reference to a mushroom stipe.

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