[ kloh-ey-kuh ]
/ kloʊˈeɪ kə /

noun, plural clo·a·cae [kloh-ey-see] /kloʊˈeɪ si/.

  1. the common cavity into which the intestinal, urinary, and generative canals open in birds, reptiles, amphibians, many fishes, and certain mammals.
  2. a similar cavity in invertebrates.
a sewer, especially an ancient sewer.

Origin of cloaca

1650–60; < Latin clo(u)āca, cluāca sewer, drain; probably akin to Greek klýzein to wash, wash away

Related forms

clo·a·cal, adjectivepre·clo·a·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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|August Strindberg

British Dictionary definitions for cloacae


/ (kləʊˈeɪkə) /

noun plural -cae (-kiː)

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

Derived Forms

cloacal, adjective

Word Origin for cloaca

C18: from Latin: sewer; related to Greek kluzein to wash out
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

Medicine definitions for cloacae


[ klō-ākə ]


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.

Related forms

clo•acal (-kəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for cloacae


[ klō-ākə ]

Plural cloacae (klō-āsē′)

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.