• synonyms


[ek-skri-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, ik-skree-tuh-ree]
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  1. pertaining to or concerned in excretion; having the function of excreting: excretory organs.
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Origin of excretory

First recorded in 1675–85; excrete + -ory1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for excretory

Historical Examples

  • (d) The digestive glands have also been shown to be excretory (5, p. 270).

    The British Woodlice

    Wilfred Mark Webb

  • It favors the excretory action of the skin, thus purifying it.

    Health, Happiness, and Longevity

    Louis Philippe McCarty

  • One of the prominent openings admits the food and the water required in respiration, the other is the excretory aperture.

  • The excretory organs of the Vertebrata consist of three distinct glandular bodies and of their ducts.

  • The development of the Elasmobranch excretory system has been mainly studied by Semper and myself.

Word Origin and History for excretory


1680s, from excrete + -ory.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

excretory in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or used in excretion.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.