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[luhng] /lʌŋ/
either of the two saclike respiratory organs in the thorax of humans and the higher vertebrates.
an analogous organ in certain invertebrates, as arachnids or terrestrial gastropods.
at the top of one's lungs, as loudly as possible; with full voice:
The baby cried at the top of his lungs.
before 1000; Middle English lungen, Old English; cognate with German Lunge; akin to light2, lights
Related forms
[luhngd] /lʌŋd/ (Show IPA),
half-lunged, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for lung
  • lung-cancer patients without insurance are less likely to receive surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment.
  • Tubes inside the lung become chronically inflamed, producing excess mucus.
  • Ash and toxic gases can cause lung damage and other problems, particularly for infants and the elderly.
  • Tetrapods are thought to have evolved from lobe-finned fish, such as lung fish and coelacanths.
  • Pneumonia in his right lung can be seen as clearly as the pacemaker implanted to regulate the rhythm of his heart.
  • Some even warn that repeated visits to the radon mines could increase a patient's risk of developing lung cancer.
  • Radiologists have already identified signs of tuberculosis or a fungal lung infection.
  • If in the lungs, the bacteria can actually create a hole in the lung tissue.
  • First it tracks how much you smoke, then it builds a plan to gradually reduce your daily lung-punches all the way to zero.
  • Combat medics stanched the marine's bleeding, inflated his collapsed lung, and eased his pain.
British Dictionary definitions for lung


either one of a pair of spongy saclike respiratory organs within the thorax of higher vertebrates, which oxygenate the blood and remove its carbon dioxide
any similar or analogous organ in other vertebrates or in invertebrates
at the top of one's lungs, in one's loudest voice; yelling
adjectives pneumonic pulmonary pulmonic
Word Origin
Old English lungen; related to Old High German lungun lung. Compare lights²
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 lung

"human respiratory organ," c.1300, from Old English lungen (plural), from Proto-Germanic *lungw- (cf. Old Norse lunge, Old Frisian lungen, Middle Dutch longhe, Dutch long, Old High German lungun, German lunge "lung"), literally "the light organ," from PIE *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight; easy, agile, nimble" (cf. Russian lëgkij, Polish lekki "light;" Russian lëgkoje "lung," Greek elaphros "light" in weight; see also lever).

The notion probably is from the fact that, when thrown into a pot of water, lungs of a slaughtered animal float, while the heart, liver, etc., do not. Cf. also Portuguese leve "lung," from Latin levis "light;" Irish scaman "lungs," from scaman "light;" Welsh ysgyfaint "lungs," from ysgafn "light." See also lights, pulmonary. Lung cancer attested from 1882.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lung in Medicine

lung (lŭng)
Either of the two saclike organs of respiration that occupy the pulmonary cavity of the thorax and in which aeration of the blood takes place. It is common for the right lung, which is divided into three lobes, to be slightly larger than the left, which has two lobes.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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lung in Science
  1. Either of two spongy organs in the chest of air-breathing vertebrate animals that serve as the organs of gas exchange. Blood flowing through the lungs picks up oxygen from inhaled air and releases carbon dioxide, which is exhaled. Air enters and leaves the lungs through the bronchial tubes.

  2. A similar organ found in some invertebrates.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with lung
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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