Definition of sphincter in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsfiNGktər/


A ring of muscle surrounding and serving to guard or close an opening or tube, such as the anus or the openings of the stomach.
Example sentences
  • This rapidly closes the duodenal sphincter to contain the stomach contents.
  • It is girdled by the external anal sphincter, a striated muscle structure that is part of the pelvic floor musculature.
  • This smooth muscle is the involuntary sphincter of the posterior urethra in the male.



Pronunciation: /-əl/
Example sentences
  • He takes note of the threat to his sphincteral cavity and the final resting place of the camera if he takes a picture of me.
  • The interposed jejunal segment fulfilled efficiently the transit and sphincteral functions of the esophagus.
  • It covers the fields of neurology, locomotion, cardiovascular and respiratory pathology as well as sphincteral function.


Pronunciation: /ˌsfiNGkˈterik/
Example sentences
  • Generally, the treatments for sphincteric weakness include pelvic floor exercises, injections of a bulking agent, or an artificial urinary sphincter.
  • Progestational hormones also affect the force of contraction of the sphincteric muscle and various gastrointestinal hormones may do so as well.
  • If technical guidelines are rigorously followed, the feared complications associated with surgical procedures, such as anal stricture and sphincteric injuries, are largely reduced.


Late 16th century: via Latin from Greek sphinktēr, from sphingein 'bind tight'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sphinc·ter

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