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[ih-sof-uh-guh s, ee-sof-] /ɪˈsɒf ə gəs, iˈsɒf-/
noun, plural esophagi
[ih-sof-uh-jahy, gahy, ee-sof-] /ɪˈsɒf əˌdʒaɪ, ˌgaɪ, iˈsɒf-/ (Show IPA).
Anatomy, Zoology
a muscular passage connecting the mouth or pharynx with the stomach in invertebrate and vertebrate animals; gullet.
Origin of esophagus
1350-1400; < New Latin oesophagus < Greek oisophágos gullet, literally, channel for eating (oiso-, akin to oísein, future infinitive of phérein to carry + -phagos eating); replacing Middle English ysophagus < Medieval Latin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for esophagus
Historical Examples
  • The outer half of the stomach, the side toward the esophagus, does not join in this churning motion.

    Physiology Ernest G. Martin
  • Just back of the pharynx is the esophagus which leads to the beginning of the stomach.

    Insects and Diseases Rennie W. Doane
  • I hook my heels under the seat and persuade my esophagus back into place.

    The Lost Kafoozalum Pauline Ashwell
  • The food that is swallowed passes down the esophagus and enters the stomach.

    Physiology Ernest G. Martin
  • Close to its posterior end the esophagus gives off three food reservoirs, two above and a single larger one below.

    Insects and Diseases Rennie W. Doane
  • They may compress the esophagus and interfere with swallowing.

    Special Report on Diseases of Cattle U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Like all gases it ascends, and so passes out of the esophagus in prayer and psalmody.

  • Through the mouth the animal ejects a part of the esophagus and envelops its prey, which is often of considerable size.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
  • This is a wave-like relaxation of the muscular walls of the esophagus, followed closely by a muscular contraction.

    Encyclopedia of Diet Eugene Christian
  • To begin, open the proboscis from the mouth, cutting back so as to expose the esophagus.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide Augusta Foote Arnold
British Dictionary definitions for esophagus


noun (pl) -gi (-ˌdʒaɪ), -guses
the US spelling of oesophagus
Derived Forms
esophageal (iːˌsɒfəˈdʒiːəl) adjective
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 esophagus

late 14c., from Greek oisophagos "gullet," literally "what carries and eats," from oisein, future infinitive of pherein "to carry" (see infer) + -phagos, from phagein "to eat" (see -phagous). Related: Esophageal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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esophagus in Medicine

esophagus e·soph·a·gus or oe·soph·a·gus (ĭ-sŏf'ə-gəs)
n. pl. e·soph·a·gi (-jī', -gī')
The portion of the digestive canal between the pharynx and stomach, consisting of a cervical part from the cricoid cartilage to the thoracic inlet, a thoracic part from the thoracic inlet to the diaphragm, and an abdominal part below the diaphragm to the stomach.

e·soph'a·ge'al (-jē'əl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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esophagus in Science
Plural esophagi (ĭ-sŏf'ə-jī', -gī')
The muscular tube in vertebrates through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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esophagus in Culture
esophagus [(i-sof-uh-guhs)]

The muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and serves as a passageway for food. (See digestive system.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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