- an opening, orifice, or short passage, as in a bone or in the integument of the ovule of a plant.
Origin of foramen
1665–75; < Latin forāmen hole, opening, equivalent to forā(re) to bore2 “pierce” + -men resultative noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for foramina
In these vertebræ the inferior ridges are also pierced by foramina.The Beaked Whales of the Family Ziphidae
Their number may be reckoned from the number of foramina for the exit of spinal nerves.The Vertebrate Skeleton
Sidney H. Reynolds
It is from these pores (or foramina) that the group receives its name.
It is not possible to establish what part of the median septum between the foramina is made up of premaxillary bones.
Collectively, this complex of foramina is often known as the posterior palatine foramina.
- a natural hole, esp one in a bone through which nerves and blood vessels pass
C17: from Latin, from forāre to bore, pierce
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
- A plural offoramen
- An aperture or perforation through a bone or a membranous structure.
- 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 (măg′nəm).♦ 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-văl′ē, -vā′lē, -vä′-).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.