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[ey-awr-tuh] /eɪˈɔr tə/
noun, plural aortas, aortae
[ey-awr-tee] /eɪˈɔr ti/ (Show IPA).
the main trunk of the arterial system, conveying blood from the left ventricle of the heart to all of the body except the lungs.
Origin of aorta
1570-80; < Medieval Latin < Greek aortḗ the great artery, literally, something hung, carried; akin to aeírein to lift, carry
Related forms
aortic, aortal, adjective
postaortic, adjective
preaortic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aorta
  • Blood flows out of your heart and into the aorta through a valve.
  • On one question, students must decide whether the trouble is with the cardiopulmonary plexus or the arch of the aorta.
  • Doctors are also using ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging to detect early expansion of the weakened aorta.
  • The discomfort under her breastbone, it turned out, had been caused by a tear in her aorta.
  • But now two potentially fatal flaws are apparent: a hole in the aorta and another in the heart.
  • aorta branches off into many other arteries that take blood into all parts of the body.
  • Not to say that a blue whale's aorta is not big enough for an adult.
  • Surgery to repair the aorta may be required if the condition is caused by disorders of the aorta.
  • Coarctation of the aorta is a birth defect that causes narrowing of the aorta, the main artery of the heart.
  • The other end will be sewn to an opening made in your aorta.
British Dictionary definitions for aorta


noun (pl) -tas, -tae (-tiː)
the main vessel in the arterial network, which conveys oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all parts of the body except the lungs
Derived Forms
aortic, aortal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin, from Greek aortē, literally: something lifted, from aeirein to raise
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 aorta

1570s, from Medieval Latin aorta, from Greek aorte, term applied by Aristotle to the great artery of the heart, literally "what is hung up," from aeirein "to lift, heave, raise," of uncertain origin; related to the second element in meteor. Used earlier by Hippocrates of the bronchial tubes. Related: Aortal; aortic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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aorta in Medicine

aorta a·or·ta (ā-ôr'tə)
n. pl. a·or·tas or a·or·tae (-tē)
The large artery that is the main trunk of the systemic arterial system, arising from the base of the left ventricle, ending at the left side of the body of the fourth lumbar vertebra, dividing to form the right and left common iliac arteries, and whose parts are the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta.

a·or'tal or a·or'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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aorta in Science
Plural aortas or aortae (ā-ôr'tē)
The main artery of the circulatory system, arising from the left ventricle of the heart in mammals and birds and carrying blood with high levels of oxygen to all the arteries of the body except those of the lungs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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aorta in Culture
aorta [(ay-awr-tuh)]

The main blood vessel of the body; it carries blood from the left side of the heart to other arteries throughout the body. (See circulatory system.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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