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[awr-i-kuh l] /ˈɔr ɪ kəl/
  1. the projecting outer portion of the ear; pinna.
  2. Also called auricular appendage. an ear-shaped appendage projecting from each atrium of the heart.
  3. (loosely) the atrium.
Botany, Zoology. a part like or likened to an ear.
1645-55; < Latin auricula the (external) ear, ear lobe. See auri-2, -cle1
Related forms
auricled, adjective
Can be confused
auricle, oracle. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for auricle


  1. the upper chamber of the heart; atrium
  2. a small sac in the atrium of the heart
(anatomy) Also called pinna. the external part of the ear
(biology) Also called auricula. an ear-shaped part or appendage, such as that occurring at the join of the leaf blade and the leaf sheath in some grasses
Derived Forms
auricled, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin auricula the external ear, from auris ear
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for auricle

part of the ear, 1650s, from Latin auricula "ear," diminutive of auris (see ear (n.1)). As a chamber of the heart, early 15c., from Latin, so called from a perceived similarity in shape to an animal's ear.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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auricle in Medicine

auricle au·ri·cle (ôr'ĭ-kəl)

  1. Atrial auricle.

  2. The projecting shell-like structure on the side of the head constituting, with the external acoustic meatus, the external ear. Also called pinna.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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auricle in Science
  1. The visible part of the outer ear.

  2. An atrium of the heart.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for auricle

in human anatomy, the visible portion of the external ear, and the point of difference between the human ear and that of other mammals. The auricle in humans is almost rudimentary and generally immobile and lies close to the side of the head. It is composed of a thin plate of yellow fibrocartilage covered by a tight-fitting skin. The external ear cartilage is molded into shape and has well-defined hollows, furrows, and ridges that form an irregular shallow funnel. The deepest depression in the auricle, called the concha, leads to the external auditory canal or meatus. The one portion of the auricle that has no cartilage is the lobule-the fleshy lower part of the auricle. The auricle has several small basic muscles that connect it to the skull and scalp. Generally nonfunctional in human beings, they are capable of limited movement in some people

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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