[ dahy-uh-fram ]
/ ˈdaɪ əˌfræm /
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verb (used with object)
to furnish with a diaphragm.
to reduce the aperture of (a lens, camera, etc.) by means of a diaphragm.
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Origin of diaphragm

1350–1400; Middle English diafragma<Late Latin diaphragma<Greek diáphragma the diaphragm, midriff, equivalent to dia-dia- + phrágma a fence
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use diaphragm in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for diaphragm

/ (ˈdaɪəˌfræm) /


Derived forms of diaphragm

diaphragmatic (ˌdaɪəfræɡˈmætɪk), adjectivediaphragmatically, adverb

Word Origin for diaphragm

C17: from Late Latin diaphragma, from Greek, from dia- + phragma fence
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 diaphragm

[ dīə-frăm′ ]

The large muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity in mammals and is the principal muscle of respiration. As the diaphragm contracts and moves downward, the lungs expand and air moves into them. As the diaphragm relaxes and moves upward, the lungs contract and air is forced out of them.
A thin, flexible disk, especially in a microphone or telephone receiver, that vibrates in response to sound waves to produce electrical signals, or that vibrates in response to electrical signals to produce sound waves.
A contraceptive device consisting of a thin flexible disk, usually made of rubber, that is designed to cover the cervix of the uterus to prevent the entry of sperm during sexual intercourse.
An optical device in a camera or telescope that regulates the amount of light that enters the lens or optical system. The diaphragm consists of a disk with a circular opening of variable diameter.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for diaphragm

[ (deye-uh-fram) ]

A dome-shaped structure made up of muscle and connective tissue that separates the abdominal cavity from the thorax and functions in respiration. By movement of the diaphragm, air is either drawn into the lungs or forced out of them.

notes for diaphragm

The term diaphragm can also refer to a small flexible cap, usually made of rubber, that fits over the cervix and is used for contraception.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.