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[vuh-jahy-nuh] /vəˈdʒaɪ nə/
noun, plural vaginas, vaginae
[vuh-jahy-nee] /vəˈdʒaɪ ni/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. the passage leading from the uterus to the vulva in certain female mammals.
    Compare oviduct.
  2. a sheathlike part or organ.
Botany. the sheath formed by the basal part of certain leaves where they embrace the stem.
Origin of vagina
1675-85; < New Latin; Latin vāgīna sheath Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for vaginae


noun (pl) -nas, -nae (-niː)
the moist canal in most female mammals, including humans, that extends from the cervix of the uterus to an external opening between the labia minora
(anatomy, biology) any sheath or sheathlike structure, such as a leaf base that encloses a stem
Derived Forms
vaginal, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: sheath
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 vaginae



1680s, from Latin vagina "sheath, scabbard" (plural vaginae), from PIE *wag-ina- (cf. Lithuanian voziu "ro cover with a hollow thing"), from root *wag- "to break, split, bite." Probably the ancient notion is of a sheath made from a split piece of wood (see sheath). A modern medical word; the Latin word was not used in an anatomical sense in classical times. Anthropological vagina dentata is attested from 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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vaginae in Medicine

vagina va·gi·na (və-jī'nə)
n. pl. va·gi·nas or va·gi·nae (-nē)

  1. The genital canal in the female, leading from the opening of the vulva to the cervix of the uterus.

  2. A sheathlike anatomical structure.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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vaginae in Science
The tube-shaped part of the reproductive tract in female mammals that is connected to the uterus at one end and opens to the outside of the body on the other end. The fully developed fetus passes through the vagina during birth.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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vaginae in Culture
vagina [(vuh-jeye-nuh)]

A tubelike passageway in the female that connects the external genitals with the uterus.

The 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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