Definition of fenestra in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /fɪˈnɛstrə/

noun (plural fenestrae /fɪˈnɛstriː/)

1 Anatomy & Zoology A small natural hole or opening, especially in a bone. The mammalian middle ear is linked by the fenestra ovalis to the vestibule of the inner ear, and by the fenestra rotunda to the cochlea.
Example sentences
  • Displacement of bones obscures anatomical details, but the fenestra ovalis seems to be absent.
  • The stapes terminates at a well-defined fenestra ovalis, suggesting that the stapes was specialized for hearing.
  • Most of the basal plate has been eliminated to accommodate the increased size of the fenestra ovalis.
2 Medicine An artificial opening.
Example sentences
  • Similarly, the postfrontal is damaged ventrally between the orbit and the infraorbital fenestra.
  • There is a sharp crest along the median symphysis, and the symphysis protrudes into the pelvic fenestra but does not meet with its ischial counterpart.
2.1An opening in a bandage or cast.
Example sentences
  • In our experiments, it is clear that extended imaging does cause the cells to respond; imaging for more than 1.5-2 h results in a significant enlargement of fenestrae and eventually causes the cells to detach.
  • The incomplete squamosals also slope laterally and ventrally away from the parietals, slightly depressing posterior margin of the supratemporal fenestrae.
  • The fused parietals form the posterior two-thirds of the sagittal crest, expanding posteriorly to form a flattened, sculpted deck behind the supratemporal fenestrae adjacent to the squamosals.
2.2A perforation in a forceps blade.
Example sentences
  • This expansion allows the jaw musculature to be stronger and also permits a wider gape (in other amniotes, the lateral temporal fenestrae perform a similar function).
2.3A hole made by surgical fenestration.
Example sentences
  • The large post-temporal fenestrae (large holes in the back of the skull) of turtles allow the jaw musculature to expand beyond the confines of the adductor chamber.
  • As experience mounted the time taken for surgery fell, bigger fenestra were created and the propensity for iatrogenic trauma and hence postoperative scarring diminished.


Early 19th century (as a botanical term denoting a small scar left by the separation of the seed from the ovary): from Latin, literally 'window'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fen|es¦tra

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.