• synonyms

dura mater

noun Anatomy.
  1. the tough, fibrous membrane forming the outermost of the three coverings of the brain and spinal cord.Also called dura.Compare arachnoid(def 6), pia mater.
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Origin of dura mater

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin: literally, hard mother
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dura mater

Historical Examples

  • The dura-mater was lacerated and brain matter from the frontal lobe escaped freely.

    Surgical Experiences in South Africa, 1899-1900

    George Henry Makins

  • The dura-mater was healed but thickened, and some clot upon its surface was removed.

British Dictionary definitions for dura mater

dura mater

  1. the outermost and toughest of the three membranes covering the brain and spinal cordOften shortened to: dura See also meninges
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Word Origin

C15: from Medieval Latin, hard mother
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

Word Origin and History for dura mater


"tough outer membrane surrounding the brain," c.1400, from Medieval Latin dura mater cerebri, literally "hard mother of the brain," a loan-translation of Arabic umm al-dimagh as-safiqa, literally "thick mother of the brain." "In Arabic, the words 'father,' 'mother,' and 'son' are often used to denote relationships between things" [Klein].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dura mater in Medicine

dura mater

(mātər, mä-)
  1. The tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull.dura pachymeninx
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dura mater in Science

dura mater

[dur′ə mātər, mä-]
  1. The tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull. It is the outermost of the three membranes (meninges) that surround the central nervous system, overlying the arachnoid and pia mater.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.