Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

lung

[luhng]
See more synonyms for lung on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. either of the two saclike respiratory organs in the thorax of humans and the higher vertebrates.
  2. an analogous organ in certain invertebrates, as arachnids or terrestrial gastropods.
Show More
Idioms
  1. at the top of one's lungs, as loudly as possible; with full voice: The baby cried at the top of his lungs.
Show More

Origin of lung

before 1000; Middle English lungen, Old English; cognate with German Lunge; akin to light2, lights
Related formslunged [luhngd] /lʌŋd/, adjectivehalf-lunged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for at the top of one's lungs

lung

noun
  1. either one of a pair of spongy saclike respiratory organs within the thorax of higher vertebrates, which oxygenate the blood and remove its carbon dioxide
  2. any similar or analogous organ in other vertebrates or in invertebrates
  3. at the top of one's lungs in one's loudest voice; yelling
Show More
Related formsRelated adjectives: pneumonic, pulmonary, pulmonic

Word Origin

Old English lungen; related to Old High German lungun lung. Compare lights ²
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

Word Origin and History for at the top of one's lungs

lung

n.

"human respiratory organ," c.1300, from Old English lungen (plural), from Proto-Germanic *lungw- (cf. Old Norse lunge, Old Frisian lungen, Middle Dutch longhe, Dutch long, Old High German lungun, German lunge "lung"), literally "the light organ," from PIE *legwh- "not heavy, having little weight; easy, agile, nimble" (cf. Russian lëgkij, Polish lekki "light;" Russian lëgkoje "lung," Greek elaphros "light" in weight; see also lever).

The notion probably is from the fact that, when thrown into a pot of water, lungs of a slaughtered animal float, while the heart, liver, etc., do not. Cf. also Portuguese leve "lung," from Latin levis "light;" Irish scaman "lungs," from scaman "light;" Welsh ysgyfaint "lungs," from ysgafn "light." See also lights, pulmonary. Lung cancer attested from 1882.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

at the top of one's lungs in Medicine

lung

(lŭng)
n.
  1. Either of the two saclike organs of respiration that occupy the pulmonary cavity of the thorax and in which aeration of the blood takes place. It is common for the right lung, which is divided into three lobes, to be slightly larger than the left, which has two lobes.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

at the top of one's lungs in Science

lung

[lŭng]
  1. Either of two spongy organs in the chest of air-breathing vertebrate animals that serve as the organs of gas exchange. Blood flowing through the lungs picks up oxygen from inhaled air and releases carbon dioxide, which is exhaled. Air enters and leaves the lungs through the bronchial tubes.
  2. A similar organ found in some invertebrates.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with at the top of one's lungs

at the top of one's lungs

Also, at the top of one's voice. With an extremely loud voice. For example, The babies in the nursery all were crying at the top of their lungs. The noun top here refers to the greatest degree of volume (that is, loudest) rather than high pitch, a usage dating from the mid-1500s.

Show More

lung

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.