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[brong-kee-ohl] /ˈbrɒŋ kiˌoʊl/
noun, Anatomy
a small branch of a bronchus.
1865-70; < New Latin bronchiolum, equivalent to bronchi(a) bronchia + -olum -ole1
Related forms
[brong-kee-oh-ler, brong-kahy-uh-] /ˌbrɒŋ kiˈoʊ lər, brɒŋˈkaɪ ə-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for bronchioles
  • As a result, the bronchioles detach from the alveoli, and holes appear.
  • The smallest compartments of the bronchi are called bronchioles, which contain millions of air sacs called alveoli.
  • When the bronchioles are swollen, they become narrower, and less air flows to and from the lungs.
British Dictionary definitions for bronchioles


any of the smallest bronchial tubes, usually ending in alveoli
Derived Forms
bronchiolar (ˌbrɒŋkɪˈəʊlə) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin bronchiolum, diminutive of Late Latin bronchium, singular of bronchia
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 bronchioles



Modern Latin, from diminutive of bronchia "the bronchial tubes" (plural; see bronchial).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bronchioles in Medicine

bronchiole bron·chi·ole (brŏng'kē-ōl')
Any of the fine, thin-walled, tubular extensions of a bronchus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bronchioles in Science
Any of the small, thin-walled tubes that branch from a bronchus and end in the alveolar sacs of the lung.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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