[ fuh-rey-muh n ]
/ fəˈreɪ mən /

noun, plural fo·ram·i·na [fuh-ram-uh-nuh] /fəˈræm ə nə/.

an opening, orifice, or short passage, as in a bone or in the integument of the ovule of a plant.

Nearby words

  1. forager,
  2. foraging,
  3. foraging ant,
  4. foraker,
  5. foram,
  6. foramen cecum medullae oblongatae,
  7. foramen magnum,
  8. foramen of vena cava,
  9. foramen spinosum,
  10. foramina

Origin of foramen

1665–75; < Latin forāmen hole, opening, equivalent to forā(re) to bore2 “pierce” + -men resultative noun suffix

Related formsfo·ram·i·nal [fuh-ram-uh-nl] /fəˈræm ə nl/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for foramina

British Dictionary definitions for foramina


/ (fɒˈreɪmɛn) /

noun plural -ramina (-ˈræmɪnə) or -ramens

a natural hole, esp one in a bone through which nerves and blood vessels pass
Derived Formsforaminal (fɒˈræmɪnəl), adjective

Word Origin for foramen

C17: from Latin, from forāre to bore, pierce

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 foramina



plural foramina, 1670s, from Latin foramen "hole, opening, aperture, orifice," from forare "to pierce" (see bore (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for foramina


[ fə-rămə-nə ]


A plural offoramen


[ fə-rāmən ]

n. pl. fo•ra•mens

An aperture or perforation through a bone or a membranous structure.
Related formsfo•rami•nal (-rămə-nəl) null adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for foramina


[ fə-rāmən ]

Plural foramina (fə-rămə-nə) foramens

An opening or short passage, especially in the body.♦ The large opening in the base of the skull through which the spinal cord passes is called the foramen magnum (măgnəm).♦ The opening in the septum between the right and left atria of the heart, present in the fetus but usually closed soon after birth, is the foramen ovale (ō-vălē, -vālē, -vä-).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.