Share this entry

dilator Syllabification: di·la·tor
Pronunciation: /ˈdīˌlātər/ /dīˈlātər/

Definition of dilator in English:


1A thing that dilates something, in particular.
Example sentences
  • However, the majority of bed partners reported a mild reduction in snoring when their spouse used the nasal dilator.
  • The dilator is designed to provide a gentle expanding force to the nasal wall tissue when the dilator is adhesively attached to the nose.
  • The investigated nasal dilator had no effect on sleep-related breathing disorders in patients with moderate to severe OSA.
1.1 (also dilator muscle) Anatomy A muscle whose contraction dilates an organ or aperture, such as the pupil of the eye.
Example sentences
  • The size of the opening is controlled by the nervous system: at rest, the parasympathetic nervous system constricts the pupil and in danger, the sympathetic nervous system supplies the pupillary dilator muscle to enlarge the pupil.
  • The halecostomes, of which Amia is an example, have an opercular dilator muscle originating on the mandible which opens the operculum.
  • The hypoglossal and glossopharyngeal nerves innervate pharyngeal dilator muscles.
1.2A surgical instrument for dilating a tube or cavity in the body.
Example sentences
  • The anesthesia care provider takes special care to ensure the removal of all esophageal tubes during insertion of sizing tubes, such as bougie dilators.
  • The dilator is removed and the nasogastric tube placed through the gastrojejunostomy and into the Roux limb.
  • Interestingly, in one of these reports all stenoses were at the level of the tracheostomy, and the authors suggested that tracheal damage from the inward force of the graded dilators might be the cause.
1.3A vasodilatory drug.
Example sentences
  • Nitric oxide, a principle physiological dilator, produces local vasodilatation and inhibits platelet adherence and aggregation.
  • The latter include diuretics, cardiac dilators and a substance called pentoxifylline, usually proscribed for memory loss among the aged.
  • Its positive benefits are that it is a social stimulant and a potent dilator of the bronchial muscles, so it is important in the treatment of asthma.

Definition of dilator 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.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day confidant
Pronunciation: ˈkänfəˌdant
a person with whom one shares a secret...