- the common cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals open in birds, reptiles, amphibians, many fishes, and certain mammals.
- a similar cavity in invertebrates.
- a sewer, especially an ancient sewer.
Origin of cloaca
Examples from the Web for cloacae
He pointed to a hole in the ground, which resembled those that led down to the cloacae.Historical Miniatures
- a cavity in the pelvic region of most vertebrates, except higher mammals, and certain invertebrates, into which the alimentary canal and the genital and urinary ducts open
- a sewer
Word Origin and History for cloacae
1650s, euphemism for "underground sewer," from Latin cloaca "public sewer, drain," from cluere "to cleanse," from PIE root *kleue- "to wash, clean" (cf. Greek klyzein "to dash over, wash off, rinse out," klysma "liquid used in a washing;" Lithuanian šluoju "to sweep;" Old English hlutor, Gothic hlutrs, Old High German hlutar, German lauter "pure, clear"). Use in biology, in reference to eliminatory systems of lower animals, is from 1834. Related: Cloacal (1650s); cloacinal (1857).
- In early embryos, the entodermally lined chamber into which the hindgut and allantois empty.
- The common cavity into which the intestinal, genital, and urinary tracts open in vertebrates such as fish, reptiles, birds, and some mammals.
- An opening in a diseased bone containing a fragment of dead bone.
- The body cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and genital canals empty in birds, reptiles, amphibians, most fish, and monotremes. The cloaca has an opening for expelling its contents from the body, and in females it serves as the depository for sperm. Also called vent
- See vent.