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[os-tee-uh; Italian aw-styah] /ˈɒs ti ə; Italian ˈɔ styɑ/
a town in central Italy, SW of Rome: ruins from 4th century b.c.; site of ancient port of Rome.


[os-tee-uh m] /ˈɒs ti əm/
noun, plural ostia
[os-tee-uh] /ˈɒs ti ə/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy, Zoology. a small opening or orifice, as at the end of the oviduct.
Zoology. one of the tiny holes in the body of a sponge.
Origin of ostium
First recorded in 1655-65, ostium is from the Latin word ōstium entrance, river mouth Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Ostia
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Whereupon Paulus with his Isaurians came from Ostia and took possession of it and held it.

    Procopius Procopius
  • One man climbed into a tree and looked off in the direction of Ostia.

    Nero Jacob Abbott
  • He landed at Ostia, a small port near the mouth of it—the port, in fact, of Rome.

    Richard I Jacob Abbott
  • But the death of Monica at Ostia in Italy changed his plans.

  • At any rate, I know that there is a steamer that goes to Ostia.

    Rollo in Rome Jacob Abbott
  • Rollo's imagination was quite taken with the idea of sailing down to Ostia.

    Rollo in Rome Jacob Abbott
  • The answer was, that Copley had gone down the river to Ostia with another boy.

    Rollo in Rome Jacob Abbott
  • "He has gone down the Tiber in the steamer to Ostia," replied Mr. William.

    Rollo in Rome Jacob Abbott
  • The road from here to Ostia has not yet been traversed by you in safety.

British Dictionary definitions for Ostia


an ancient town in W central Italy, originally at the mouth of the Tiber but now about 6 km (4 miles) inland: served as the port of ancient Rome; harbours built by Claudius and Trajan; ruins excavated since 1854


noun (biology) (pl) -tia (-tɪə)
any of the pores in sponges through which water enters the body
any of the openings in the heart of an arthropod through which blood enters
any similar opening
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: door, entrance
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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Ostia in Medicine

ostium os·ti·um (ŏs'tē-əm)
n. pl. os·ti·a (-tē-ə)
A small opening or orifice, as in a body organ.

os'ti·al 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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