noun (plural atria /ˈātrēə/ or atriums)
1 Architecture An open-roofed entrance hall or central court in an ancient Roman house.
- The sequence of these spaces in the palace suggests the atrium and peristyle of Roman houses, basic features of domestic architecture emphasized by the Roman writer Vitruvius.
- The rich lived in single-storey houses which were built around a central hall known as an atrium.
- The rich had large, gracious homes, each with an entrance atrium, like the family room.
1.1A central hall or court in a modern building, with rooms or galleries opening off it, often glass-covered.
- This form, upon which our modern atria are based, was enclosed on all sides by buildings with roofs sloping to a columned peristyle or walkway around a courtyard.
- Central to the new building is the two-story atrium, with a north-facing glass wall, where patrons first enter to purchase their tickets.
- The headquarters is arranged as six four-storey office pavilions linked by an internal street, an elongated atrium with a glass roof.
2 Anatomy Each of the two upper cavities of the heart from which blood is passed to the ventricles. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the veins of the body; the left atrium receives oxygenated blood from the pulmonary vein. Also called auricle.
- The right atrium receives oxygen-poor blood from the body.
- When the heart relaxes in between beats, the two ‘flaps’ of the mitral valve swing open to let blood flow from the atrium to the ventricle.
- The left atrium of the heart receives oxygenated (oxygen-rich) blood from the lungs and then empties into the left ventricle through the mitral valve.
- Example sentences
- This guideline provides an outline for the care of the majority of patients with atrial fibrillation.
- An increase of vagal tone after exercise occasionally can lead to episodes of atrial fibrillation.
- In first degree block there is a delay in conduction of the atrial impulse to the ventricles, usually at the level of the atrioventricular node.
Late 16th century: from Latin.
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