1570s, from Medieval Latin aorta, from Greek aorte, term applied by Aristotle to the great artery of the heart, literally "what is hung up," from aeirein "to lift, heave, raise," of uncertain origin; related to the second element in meteor. Used earlier by Hippocrates of the bronchial tubes. Related: Aortal; aortic.
The large artery that is the main trunk of the systemic arterial system, arising from the base of the left ventricle, ending at the left side of the body of the fourth lumbar vertebra, dividing to form the right and left common iliac arteries, and whose parts are the ascending aorta, the aortic arch, and the descending aorta.
The main artery of the circulatory system, arising from the left ventricle of the heart in mammals and birds and carrying blood with high levels of oxygen to all the arteries of the body except those of the lungs.