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[nos-truh l] /ˈnɒs trəl/
either of the two external openings of the nose.
before 1000; Middle English nostrill, Old English nosterl, variant of nosthyrl, equivalent to nos(u) nose + thyrel hole; see thirl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for nostrils
  • Moisture secreted through the nostrils evaporates as the camel breathes in, cooling the nostrils in the process.
  • Camel's nostrils are miracles of heat exchange and water recovery engineering.
  • Faces turned upward, so that their nostrils are out of water, they creep toward the land at the same rate as the tide.
  • His eyes were bright, his jaw set, excitement flickering around the edge of his nostrils.
  • The nostrils and pupils are carved so deep you could use them to stash contraband.
  • Yet features of its nostrils and eye socket, and a distinctive groove in its jaw mark it as a croc.
  • She is happy to report none of them have involved food in her nostrils.
  • Those molecules then latched onto olfactory receptors located on nerve endings in their nostrils.
  • When fixing on the nose or nostrils or the mouth, the effect is much dampened and all look pretty ordinary.
  • Dilated nostrils, and tail held straight up straight.
British Dictionary definitions for nostrils


either of the two external openings of the nose related adjectives narial narine
Word Origin
Old English nosthyrl, from nosunose + thyrel hole
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for nostrils



Old English nosþyrl, nosðirl, literally "the hole of the nose," from nosu "nose" (see nose (n.)) + þyrel "hole" (see thrill (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nostrils in Medicine

nostril nos·tril (nŏs'trəl)
A naris.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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