1 [ney-zuhl]
of or pertaining to the nose: the nasal cavity.
Phonetics. pronounced with the voice issuing through the nose, either partly, as in French nasal vowels, or entirely (as in m, n, or the ng of song ).
Phonetics. a nasal speech sound.

1375–1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin *nāsālis, equivalent to Latin nās(us) nose + -ālis -al1

nasality [ney-zal-i-tee] , nasalism, noun
seminasality, noun Unabridged


2 [ney-zuhl]
noun Armor.
a bar or narrow plate used with an open helmet as a defense for the nose.

1470–80; late Middle English < Medieval Latin nāsāle, noun use of neuter of *nāsālis nasal1; replacing Middle English nasel < Middle French < Medieval Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To nasal
World English Dictionary
nasal (ˈneɪzəl)
1.  of or relating to the nose
2.  phonetics pronounced with the soft palate lowered allowing air to escape via the nasal cavity instead of or as well as through the mouth
3.  a nasal speech sound, such as English m, n, or ng
4.  another word for nosepiece
[C17: from French from Late Latin nāsālis, from Latin nāsus nose]

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, "of the nose," from Fr. nasal, from L. nasus "nose," from PIE *nas- (see nose). Of speech sounds, attested from 1669.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

nasal na·sal (nā'zəl)
Of, in, or relating to the nose.

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
nasal   (nā'zəl)  Pronunciation Key 
Relating to or involving the nose.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


in phonetics, speech sound in which the airstream passes through the nose as a result of the lowering of the soft palate (velum) at the back of the mouth. In the case of nasal consonants, such as English m, n, and ng (the final sound in "sing"), the mouth is occluded at some point by the lips or tongue and the airstream is expelled entirely through the nose. Sounds in which the airstream is expelled partly through the nose and partly through the mouth are classified as nasalized. Nasalized vowels are common in French (e.g., in vin "wine," bon "good," and enfant "child"), Portuguese, and a number of other languages. There are also instances of nasalized consonants in which the feature of nasalization carries over to a typically nonnasal consonant (e.g., the l in French branlant, "shaky").

Learn more about nasal with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
It has gotten better over the years due to my using a nasal irrigator and
  alcohol sanitizer.
My pharmacist says that's normal due to using a nasal spray, as the nose
  contains pretty delicate veins.
The presence of this nuthatch is typically announced by its nasal calls.
Silt and leaf fragments clog the eye sockets and nasal cavity.
Image for nasal
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature