noun, plural cloacae [kloh-ey-see] .
the common cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals open in birds, reptiles, amphibians, many fishes, and certain mammals.
a similar cavity in invertebrates.
a sewer, especially an ancient sewer.

1650–60; < Latin clo(u)āca, cluāca sewer, drain; probably akin to Greek klýzein to wash, wash away

cloacal, adjective
precloacal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cloacae
World English Dictionary
cloaca (kləʊˈeɪkə)
n , pl -cae
1.  a cavity in the pelvic region of most vertebrates, except higher mammals, and certain invertebrates, into which the alimentary canal and the genital and urinary ducts open
2.  a sewer
[C18: from Latin: sewer; related to Greek kluzein to wash out]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1656, Mod.L., euphemism for "sewer," from L. cloaca "sewer," from cluere "to cleanse," from PIE base *klu- "to rinse, clean."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cloaca clo·a·ca (klō-ā'kə)

  1. In early embryos, the entodermally lined chamber into which the hindgut and allantois empty.

  2. The common cavity into which the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open in vertebrates such as fish, reptiles, birds, and some mammals.

  3. An opening in a diseased bone containing a fragment of dead bone.

clo·a'cal (-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
cloaca   (klō-ā'kə)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural cloacae (klō-ā'sē')
  1. The body cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and genital canals empty in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes. The cloaca has an opening for expelling its contents from the body, and in females it serves as the depository for sperm. Also called vent.

  2. See vent.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature