Definition of artery in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈärdərē/

noun (plural arteries)

1Any of the muscular-walled tubes forming part of the circulation system by which blood (mainly that which has been oxygenated) is conveyed from the heart to all parts of the body. Compare with vein (sense 1).
Example sentences
  • Most are caused by a blood clot that forms in the veins, before passing through the heart and entering the arteries that carry blood to the lungs.
  • Thus the fetus grows its own umbilical cord, containing its own blood vessels: two arteries and a single vein.
  • Over time, it can cause damage to the heart and arteries and other body organs.
1.1An important route in a system of roads, rivers, or railroad lines: the east-west artery between San Francisco and Sacramento
More example sentences
  • During the Dutch colonial era this river was an important artery in the city.
  • It links two main arteries of the West Coast route: the line to Manchester via Stafford and Crewe and the line via Stoke on Trent.
  • This road is the main artery between Windhoek, southern Namibia and South Africa.


Late Middle English: from Latin arteria, from Greek artēria, probably from airein 'raise'.

  • This comes via Latin from Greek artēria, probably from aeirein ‘raise’. Arteries were popularly thought by the ancients (who thought the word was from Greek aēr ‘air’) to be air ducts as they do not contain blood after death. Medieval writers thought they contained an ethereal fluid distinct from that of the veins: this was referred to as spiritual blood or vital spirits. Aorta (mid 16th century) also comes from aeirein. It was used by Hippocrates for the branches of the windpipe, and by Aristotle for the great artery.

Words that rhyme with artery

martyry, Tartary

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ar·ter·y

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