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Learned borrowing from Latin meātus (a going, passing; a way, path, passage).



meatus (plural meatus or meatuses)

  1. (anatomy) A tubular opening or passage leading to the interior of the body.
    Hyponyms: acoustic meatus, urinary meatus
    The urinary meatus is the opening of the urethra, situated on the glans penis in males, and in the vulva in females.
    • 1996, David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest: A Novel, New York, N.Y.; Boston, Mass.: Little, Brown and Company, →ISBN, page 60:
      The illness. It came out of nowhere. His breathing all of a sudden started hurting the back of his throat. Then that overfull heat in various cranial meatus.
    • 2012, David W. Kennedy; Peter H. Hwang, editors, Rhinology: Diseases of the Nose, Sinuses, and Skull Base[1], Thieme, →ISBN:
      The vibrissae are coarse hairs whose follicles are located just within the nasal meatus.
  2. (anatomy) Ellipsis of acoustic meatus, the passage leading into the ear.
    Synonym: ear canal

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Etymology 1[edit]

Perfect passive participle of meō (to go, to pass).


meātus (feminine meāta, neuter meātum); first/second-declension participle

  1. perfect passive participle of meō

First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative meātus meāta meātum meātī meātae meāta
Genitive meātī meātae meātī meātōrum meātārum meātōrum
Dative meātō meātō meātīs
Accusative meātum meātam meātum meātōs meātās meāta
Ablative meātō meātā meātō meātīs
Vocative meāte meāta meātum meātī meātae meāta
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From meō (to go, pass) +‎ -tus (action noun suffix).


meātus m (genitive meātūs); fourth declension

  1. (literally) a going, passing, motion, course
  2. (transferred sense) a way, path, passage
    1. the avenues of sensation in the body
This entry needs quotations to illustrate usage. If you come across any interesting, durably archived quotes then please add them!

Fourth-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative meātus meātūs
Genitive meātūs meātuum
Dative meātuī meātibus
Accusative meātum meātūs
Ablative meātū meātibus
Vocative meātus meātūs


  • meatus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • meatus”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • meatus in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette