diaphragm

Cultural Dictionary
diaphragm [(deye-uh-fram)]

A dome-shaped structure made up of muscle and connective tissue that separates the abdominal cavity from the thorax and functions in respiration. By movement of the diaphragm, air is either drawn into the lungs or forced out of them.

Note: The term diaphragm can also refer to a small flexible cap, usually made of rubber, that fits over the cervix and is used for contraception.
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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