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[fi-nes-truh] /fɪˈnɛs trə/
noun, plural fenestrae
[fi-nes-tree] /fɪˈnɛs tri/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy, Zoology. a small opening or perforation, as in a bone, especially between the middle and inner ear.
Entomology. a transparent spot in an otherwise opaque surface, as in the wings of certain butterflies and moths.
Architecture. a windowlike opening.
Origin of fenestra
1820-30; < New Latin, special use of Latin fenestra window, hole (in a wall)
Related forms
fenestral, adjective
unfenestral, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fenestra
Historical Examples
  • “Well, thank you kindly,” Mr. fenestra said, tipping his hat.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • fenestra always keeps the cave padlocked,” revealed Tillie.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • Mr. fenestra had it taken out because the ringing of the bell made him jumpy.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • Knowing that it came from the fenestra house, she used it as a beacon to guide her.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • fenestra answered it, and when he came back into the kitchen he was in a dreadful temper.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • fenestra has been very nervous since I came here,” Mrs. Weems contributed.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • No, Lou, we should have guessed long ago that fenestra is an ex-sailor.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • Then fenestra must have done something which made the others angry.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • We tend to suspect fenestra of evil doing because we dislike him so heartily.

    The Secret Pact Mildred A. Wirt
  • The upper of the two, or fenestra ovalis, contains the base of a bone, known in the Sauropsida and Amphibia as the columella.

British Dictionary definitions for fenestra


noun (pl) -trae (-triː)
(biology) a small opening in or between bones, esp one of the openings between the middle and inner ears
(zoology) a transparent marking or spot, as on the wings of moths
(architect) a window or window-like opening in the outside wall of a building
Derived Forms
fenestral, adjective
Word Origin
C19: via New Latin from Latin: wall opening, window
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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fenestra in Medicine

fenestra fe·nes·tra (fə-něs'trə)
n. pl. fe·nes·trae (-trē')

  1. A small anatomical opening, often closed by a membrane.

  2. The opening in a bone made by surgical fenestration.

  3. A specialized opening, as in a surgical instrument.

fe·nes'tral adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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