Definition of raphe in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈreɪfi/

noun (plural raphae /ˈreɪfiː/)

Anatomy & Biology
1A groove, ridge, or seam in an organ or tissue, typically marking the line where two halves fused in the embryo, in particular:
Example sentences
  • If the variant is bilateral the deviant muscle plate has a raphe in the median line.
  • They are located close to the median raphe, ventromedial to the hypoglossal nucleus.
  • Its fibers pass dorsally from an extensive anterior attachment to insert on the pharyngeal raphe, the pharyngeal tubercle of the occipital bone.
1.1The connecting ridge between the two halves of the medulla oblongata or the tegmentum of the midbrain.
Example sentences
  • Because most medullary raphe neurons that project to motoneurons are inhibited by vagal afferents.
  • Second, there is a midbrain trigger, perhaps in serotonergic neurons of the dorsal raphe.
  • In rats, the CO2-sensitive neurons of the caudal medullar raphe act during sleep only.
1.2 Botany A longitudinal ridge on the side of certain ovules or seeds.
Example sentences
  • The raphe is a slightly depressed area on the opposite side of the hilum from the micropyle.
1.3 Botany A longitudinal groove in the valve of many diatoms.
Example sentences
  • Through the raphe, the living diatom secretes mucilage, with which it may attach to a substrate or move by gliding over the substrate.


Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek rhaphē 'seam'.

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Line breaks: raphe

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