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[kuh-rot-id] /kəˈrɒt ɪd/ Anatomy
Also called carotid artery. either of the two large arteries, one on each side of the head, that carry blood to the head and that divide into an external branch supplying the neck, face, and other external parts, and an internal branch supplying the brain, eye, and other internal parts.
pertaining to a carotid artery.
Origin of carotid
1660-70; < Greek karōtídes neck arteries, equivalent to karōt(ikós) soporific (kár(os) stupor + -ōtikos -otic) + -ides -id1; so called by Galen, who found that their compression causes stupor
Related forms
carotidal, adjective
intercarotid, adjective
postcarotid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for carotid artery
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He gave directions for avoiding the carotid artery and internal jugular vein in operations upon the neck.

  • It was a puncture of the carotid artery, and you couldn't do that with this if you tried.

    The Crime Doctor Ernest William Hornung
  • We arranged apparatus making it possible to hold the pressure in the carotid artery of dogs at maximum or minimum.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension: Louis Marshall Warfield
  • Light from pressing the eye-ball, and sound from the pulsation of the carotid artery.

    Zoonomia, Vol. I Erasmus Darwin
  • The bullet entered the right side of the neck, penetrated a few inches, and stopped right on the sheath of the carotid artery.

  • In animals it is easy to attach manometers to the carotid artery and to measure the blood pressure accurately.

    Arteriosclerosis and Hypertension: Louis Marshall Warfield
  • It comprehended one of the parotid glands, and I had to divide the trunk of the carotid artery and jugular vein.

    Cattle and Their Diseases Robert Jennings
  • With one hand, I parried the attack; with the other, I gave him a sharp blow on the carotid artery.

  • Otherwise there would have been more blood stains found, as the jugular vein and carotid artery were both cut.

    An Artist in Crime Rodrigues Ottolengui
British Dictionary definitions for carotid artery


either one of the two principal arteries that supply blood to the head and neck
of or relating to either of these arteries
Derived Forms
carotidal, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from French, from Greek karōtides, from karoun to stupefy; so named by Galen, because pressure on them produced unconsciousness
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 carotid artery



1540s, "pertaining to the two great arteries of the neck," from Greek karotides "great arteries of the neck," plural of karotis, from karoun "plunge into sleep or stupor," because compression of these arteries was believed to cause unconsciousness (Galen). But if this is folk etymology, the Greek word could be from kara "head," related to kranion "skull, upper part of the head," from PIE root *ker- "horn, head" (see horn (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carotid artery in Medicine

carotid artery n.

  1. An artery that originates on the right from the brachiocephalic artery and on the left from the aortic arch, runs upward into the neck and divides opposite the upper border of the thyroid cartilage, with the external and internal carotid arteries as its terminal branches; common carotid artery.

  2. An artery with its origin in the common carotid artery, with branches to the superior thyroid, lingual, facial, occipital, posterior auricular, and ascending pharyngeal arteries, and with the maxillary and superficial temporal arteries as its terminal branches; external carotid artery.

  3. An artery that arises from the common carotid artery opposite the upper border of the thyroid cartilage and terminates in the middle cranial fossa by dividing into the anterior and the middle cerebral arteries; internal carotid artery.

carotid ca·rot·id (kə-rŏt'ĭd)
Either of two major arteries, one on each side of the neck, that carry blood to the head. adj.
Relating to either of these arteries.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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carotid artery in Science
carotid artery
Either of the two major arteries, one on each side of the neck, that carry blood to the head.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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