[fen-uh-strey-shuh n]
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  1. the design and disposition of windows and other exterior openings of a building.
  2. Furniture. an ornamental motif having the form of a blind arcade or arch, as in medieval cabinetwork.
  3. Medicine/Medical, Surgery.
    1. a perforation in a structure.
    2. an operation to effect such an opening.
    3. Also called fenestration operation, Lempert operation.the creation of an artificial opening into the labyrinth of the ear to restore hearing loss from otosclerosis.

Origin of fenestration

1840–50; < Latin fenestrāt(us) (see fenestrated) + -ion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of fenestration

British Dictionary definitions for fenestration


  1. the arrangement and design of windows in a building
  2. a surgical operation to restore hearing by making an artificial opening into the labyrinth of the ear
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 fenestration

1870 in the anatomical sense, noun of action from Latin fenestrare, from fenestra "window, opening for light," perhaps from Etruscan. Meaning "arrangement of windows" is from 1846. Related: Fenestrated.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fenestration in Medicine


  1. An opening in the surface of a structure, as in a membrane.
  2. The surgical creation of such an opening.
  3. The surgical creation of an artificial opening in the bony part of the inner ear to improve or restore hearing.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.