noun (plural alveoli /-ˌlī/)chiefly Anatomy
1Any of the many tiny air sacs of the lungs which allow for rapid gaseous exchange.
- Scientists also suspect that air pollutants might dampen the growth of alveoli, tiny air sacs in the lungs.
- Holes in the lungs occur as the alveoli air sacs break down.
- As altitude increases above sea level, atmospheric pressure drops with a parallel decrease in the amount of oxygen available at the blood/air interface in the lung alveolus.
2The bony socket for the root of a tooth.
- No preserved teeth or alveoli can be observed in the premaxilla and dentary bones.
- The tooth row is present throughout the entire preserved length of the jaw and possesses 16 teeth and empty alveoli.
- Only a few, fragmentary teeth are preserved, and judging by the fragments and the size of alveoli, the teeth were gracile.
- Example sentences
- The Siddall group addressed the molecular phylogeny of three, very similar, alveolate genera.
- Several workers have suggested that the entire alveolate clade is derived from a photosynthetic ancestor.
- One of them corresponded to an alveolate sequence belonging to the recently described marine.
Late 17th century: from Latin, 'small cavity', diminutive of alveus.
Words that rhyme with alveolusAeolus, bolas, bolus, gladiolus, holus-bolus, solus, toeless
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