Share this entry
cartilage Line breaks: car¦til|age
Pronunciation: /ˈkɑːt(ɪ)lɪdʒ/

Definition of cartilage in English:


[mass noun]
1Firm, flexible connective tissue found in various forms in the larynx and respiratory tract, in structures such as the external ear, and in the articulating surfaces of joints. It is more widespread in the infant skeleton, being replaced by bone during growth.
Example sentences
  • The human body has a dynamic framework of bone and cartilage called the skeleton.
  • Normally, the ball moves smoothly in its socket on a lining of shock-absorbing cartilage.
  • The shape of the nose is defined by shadows as the skin moves over cartilage and bone.
1.1 [count noun] A particular structure made of cartilage: his knees failed and the cartilages were removed
More example sentences
  • His liver, both his kidneys, his heart valves, cartilages, skin and tendons were transplanted in operations which helped more than 30 people.
  • Early reconstruction is advisable to avoid likelihood of damage to the cartilages of knee and osteo-arthritis.
  • The cranial skeleton is composed of an assortment of cartilages and bones that have been highly modified during evolution.


Late Middle English: from French, from Latin cartilago, cartilagin-.

Words that rhyme with cartilage

ensilage • mucilage
Definition of cartilage in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources