[ih-sof-uh-guh s, ee-sof-]

noun, plural e·soph·a·gi [ih-sof-uh-jahy, gahy, ee-sof-] /ɪˈsɒf əˌdʒaɪ, ˌgaɪ, iˈsɒf-/. Anatomy, Zoology.

a muscular passage connecting the mouth or pharynx with the stomach in invertebrate and vertebrate animals; gullet.

Origin of esophagus

1350–1400; < New Latin oesophagus < Greek oisophágos gullet, literally, channel for eating (oiso-, akin to oísein, future infinitive of phérein to carry + -phagos eating); replacing Middle English ysophagus < Medieval Latin Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for esophagus

larynx, throat, craw, maw, gullet, passage, gorge, pharynx, trachea, windpipe, thorax, fauces, voice

Examples from the Web for esophagus

Historical Examples of esophagus

  • The passage between the nasal passages and the esophagus: the throat.

    A Handbook of Health

    Woods Hutchinson

  • Just back of the pharynx is the esophagus which leads to the beginning of the stomach.

    Insects and Diseases

    Rennie W. Doane

  • Like all gases it ascends, and so passes out of the esophagus in prayer and psalmody.

  • Your heart's in the old place, isn't it—at the end of your esophagus?

    The White Shield

    Myrtle Reed

  • The food that is swallowed passes down the esophagus and enters the stomach.


    Ernest G. Martin

British Dictionary definitions for esophagus


noun plural -gi (-ˌdʒaɪ) or -guses

the US spelling of oesophagus
Derived Formsesophageal (iːˌsɒfəˈdʒiːəl), 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

Word Origin and History for esophagus

late 14c., from Greek oisophagos "gullet," literally "what carries and eats," from oisein, future infinitive of pherein "to carry" (see infer) + -phagos, from phagein "to eat" (see -phagous). Related: Esophageal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

esophagus in Medicine


n. pl. e•soph•a•gi (-jī′, -gī′)

The portion of the digestive canal between the pharynx and stomach, consisting of a cervical part from the cricoid cartilage to the thoracic inlet, a thoracic part from the thoracic inlet to the diaphragm, and an abdominal part below the diaphragm to the stomach.
Related formse•soph′a•geal (-jēəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

esophagus in Science



Plural esophagi (ĭ-sŏfə-jī′, -gī′)

The muscular tube in vertebrates through which food passes from the pharynx to the stomach.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

esophagus in Culture



The muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach and serves as a passageway for food. (See digestive system.)

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.