dura mater

noun Anatomy.
the tough, fibrous membrane forming the outermost of the three coverings of the brain and spinal cord. Also called dura. Compare arachnoid ( def 6 ), pia mater.

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin: literally, hard mother

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World English Dictionary
dura mater (ˈdjʊərə ˈmeɪtə)
See also meninges Often shortened to: dura the outermost and toughest of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cord
[C15: from Medieval Latin, hard mother]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

dura mater
"tough outer membrane surrounding the brain," c.1400, from M.L. dura mater cerebri, lit. "hard mother of the brain," a loan-transl. of Ar. umm al-dimagh as-safiqa, lit. "thick mother of the brain." "In Arabic, the words 'father,' 'mother,' and 'son' are often used to denote relationships between things"
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

dura mater dura ma·ter (mā'tər, mä-)
The tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull. Also called dura , pachymeninx.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
dura mater   (dr'ə mā'tər, mä'-)  Pronunciation Key 
The tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull. It is the outermost of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the central nervous system, overlying the arachnoid and pia mater.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The dura mater is used as an implant in human brain surgery.
The blood seeps into the gap between the arachnoid membrane that encloses the
  brain and the lining of the skull, or dura mater.
These are named from without inward: the dura mater, the arachnoid, and the pia
Around the margin of the foramen magnum it is closely adherent to the bone, and
  is continuous with the spinal dura mater.
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