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[sep-tuh m] /ˈsɛp təm/
noun, plural septa
[sep-tuh] /ˈsɛp tə/ (Show IPA).
a dividing wall, membrane, or the like, in a plant or animal structure; dissepiment.
Origin of septum
1710-20; < Latin sēptum, variant of saeptum enclosure, noun use of neuter of saeptus (past participle of saepīre to fence); akin to saepēs hedge, fence Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for septum
  • The septum of his nose had cracked from the cold, bleeding a little, and leaving a small red icicle.
  • To the uninitiated, a lusty whiff of the stuff brings an uppercut to the septum.
  • When inhaled regularly over long periods of time, it can cause cancer of the lung and the septum.
  • The septal cartilage does not reach as far as the lowest part of the nasal septum.
  • Finally it pierces the orbital septum, and ends in the skin of the upper eyelid, joining with filaments of the facial nerve.
  • The insertion is variable on the inner side of the arm to fascia, intermuscular septum or internal condyle.
British Dictionary definitions for septum


noun (pl) -ta (-tə)
(biology, anatomy) a dividing partition between two tissues or cavities
a dividing partition or membrane between two cavities in a mechanical device
Word Origin
C18: from Latin saeptum wall, from saepīre to enclose; related to Latin saepēs a fence
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 septum

"partition between the nostrils," 1690s, Modern Latin, from Latin saeptum "a fence, enclosure, partition," from neuter past participle of saepire "to hedge in," from saepes "hedge, fence." Related: Septal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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septum in Medicine

septum sep·tum (sěp'təm)
n. pl. sep·ta (-tə)

  1. A thin partition or membrane dividing two cavities or soft masses of tissue in an organism.

  2. The septum pellucidum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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septum in Science
Plural septa
A thin wall or membrane that separates two parts or structures in an organism. Septae separate the chambers of the heart and subdivide the hyphae of some fungi.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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