noun (plural atria /ˈeɪtrɪə/ 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 in a modern building, typically rising through several stories and having a glazed roof.
- 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.
1.2The forecourt of a large church built on the basilican plan.
- The scene shows Christ standing at the right preaching in the atrium of a church, with the redcloaked Magdalen standing alone to the left of the crowd, undergoing her conversion.
- Sir Basil Spence, who designed Coventry Cathedral, oversaw the restoration, constructing a marble-floored atrium.
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 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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