Origin of membranous labyrinth
- the internal ear, consisting of a bony portion (bony labyrinth) and a membranous portion (membranous labyrinth).
- the aggregate of air chambers in the ethmoid bone, between the eye and the upper part of the nose.
Origin of labyrinth
- any system of interconnecting cavities, esp those comprising the internal ear
- another name for internal ear
Word Origin for labyrinth
c.1400, laberynthe (late 14c. in Latinate form laborintus) "labyrinth, maze," figuratively "bewildering arguments," from Latin labyrinthus, from Greek labyrinthos "maze, large building with intricate passages," especially the structure built by Daedelus to hold the Minotaur near Knossos in Crete, from a pre-Greek language; perhaps related to Lydian labrys "double-edged axe," symbol of royal power, which fits with the theory that the labyrinth was originally the royal Minoan palace on Crete and meant "palace of the double-axe." Used in English for "maze" early 15c., and in figurative sense of "confusing state of affairs" (1540s).