[ kloh-ey-kuh ]
See synonyms for cloaca on
noun,plural clo·a·cae [kloh-ey-see]. /kloʊˈeɪ si/.
  1. Zoology.

    • 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.

  2. 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

Other words from cloaca

  • clo·a·cal, adjective
  • pre·clo·a·cal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cloaca in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cloaca


/ (kləʊˈeɪkə) /

nounplural -cae (-kiː)
  1. 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

  2. a sewer

Origin of cloaca

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

Derived forms of cloaca

  • cloacal, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for cloaca


[ klō-ā ]

Plural cloacae (klō-āsē′)
  1. 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

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