[ kok-lee-uh, koh-klee-uh ]
See synonyms for: cochlear on

noun,plural coch·le·ae [kok-lee-ee, -lee-ahy, koh-klee-ee, ‐klee-ahy], /ˈkɒk liˌi, -liˌaɪ, ˈkoʊ kliˌi, ‐kliˌaɪ/, coch·le·as.Anatomy.
  1. a spiral-shaped cavity forming a division of the internal ear in humans and in most other mammals.

Origin of cochlea

1530–40; <Latin <Greek kochlíās snail (with spiral shell), screw, probably akin to kónchēconch

Other words from cochlea

  • coch·le·ar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use cochlea in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for cochlea


/ (ˈkɒklɪə) /

nounplural -leae (-lɪˌiː)
  1. the spiral tube, shaped like a snail's shell, that forms part of the internal ear, converting sound vibrations into nerve impulses

Origin of cochlea

C16: from Latin: snail, spiral, from Greek kokhlias; probably related to Greek konkhē conch

Derived forms of cochlea

  • cochlear, 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 cochlea


[ kŏklē-ə ]

Plural cochleae (kŏklē-ē′, -lē-ī′) cochleas
  1. A spiral-shaped cavity of the inner ear and the main organ of hearing. The cochlea contains the nerve endings that transmit sound vibrations from the middle ear to the auditory nerve.

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