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Eustachian tube

[yoo-stey-shuh n, -stey-kee-uh n] /yuˈsteɪ ʃən, -ˈsteɪ ki ən/
noun, Anatomy
1.
a canal extending from the middle ear to the pharynx; auditory canal.
Origin
1735-1745
1735-45; named after Eustachio; see -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Eustachian tube

Eustachian tube

/juːˈsteɪʃən/
noun
1.
a tube that connects the middle ear with the nasopharynx and equalizes the pressure between the two sides of the eardrum
Word Origin
C18: named after Bartolomeo Eustachio, 16th-century Italian anatomist
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 Eustachian tube
n.

so called for Italian physician Bartolomeo Eustachio (d.1574), who discovered the passages from the ears to the throat. His name is from Latin Eustachius (see Eustace).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Eustachian tube in Medicine

eustachian tube n.
A slender tube that connects the tympanic cavity with the nasal part of the pharynx and serves to equalize air pressure on either side of the eardrum. Also called auditory tube, salpinx.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Eustachian tube in Science
eustachian tube
  (y-stā'shən)   
A slender tube that connects the middle ear with the upper part of the pharynx, serving to equalize air pressure on either side of the eardrum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Eustachian tube in Culture
Eustachian tube [(yooh-stay-shuhn, yooh-stay-kee-uhn)]

A tube made up of bone and cartilage that connects the middle ear to the back of the mouth.

Note: Swallowing during airplane takeoffs and landings allows air to move through the Eustachian tube to equalize pressure across the eardrum, causing the ears to “pop.”
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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Encyclopedia Article for Eustachian tube

auditory tube

tube that extends from the middle ear to the pharynx (throat). About 3 to 4 centimetres (1.2-1.6 inches) long in humans and lined with mucous membrane, it is directed downward and inward from the tympanic cavity, or middle ear, to that portion of the pharynx called the nasopharynx, the space above the soft palate and behind and continuous with the nasal passages. The upper end of the eustachian tube is narrow and surrounded by bone. As it nears the pharynx, the tube becomes wider and cartilaginous. The mucous lining is continuous with that of the middle ear. Small cilia (hairlike projections) cover it to aid the drainage of mucous secretions from the middle ear to the pharynx. The main function of the auditory tube is ventilation of the middle ear and maintenance of equalized pressure on both sides of the tympanic (drum) membrane. Closed at most times, the tube opens during swallowing. This permits equalization of the pressure without conscious effort. During an underwater dive or rapid descent in a plane the eustachian tube may remain closed in the face of rapidly increasing surrounding pressure. The pressure on both sides of the eardrum membrane can usually be equalized by holding the nose and blowing, by swallowing, or by wiggling the jaws.

Learn more about auditory tube with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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