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early 15c., from Middle French cartilage (16c.) and directly from Latin cartilaginem (nominative cartilago) "cartilage, gristle," possibly related to Latin crates "wickerwork."
cartilage car·ti·lage (kär'tl-ĭj)
A tough, elastic, fibrous connective tissue that is a major constituent of embryonic and young vertebrate skeletons, is converted largely to bone with maturation, and is found in various parts of the adult body, such as the joints, outer ear, and larynx.
A strong, flexible connective tissue that is found in various parts of the body, including the joints, the outer ear, and the larynx. During the embryonic development of most vertebrates, the skeleton forms as cartilage before most of it hardens into bone. In cartilaginous fish, the mature fish retains a skeleton made of cartilage.
A kind of tough but elastic connective tissue that can withstand considerable pressure. It makes up portions of the skeletal system, such as the linings of the joints, where it cushions against shock. Cartilage is also found in other body structures, such as the nose and external ear.