mucus

[ myoo-kuh s ]
/ ˈmyu kəs /

noun

a viscous, slimy mixture of mucins, water, electrolytes, epithelial cells, and leukocytes that is secreted by glands lining the nasal, esophageal, and other body cavities and serves primarily to protect and lubricate surfaces.

Nearby words

  1. mucous plug,
  2. mucoviscidosis,
  3. mucro,
  4. mucronate,
  5. mucrones,
  6. mud,
  7. mud bath,
  8. mud berth,
  9. mud bug,
  10. mud crab

Origin of mucus

1655–65; < Latin mūcus snot; akin to Greek myktḗr nose, mýxa slime

Can be confusedmucous mucus

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mucus


British Dictionary definitions for mucus

mucus

/ (ˈmjuːkəs) /

noun

the slimy protective secretion of the mucous membranes, consisting mainly of mucin

Word Origin for mucus

C17: from Latin: nasal secretions; compare mungere to blow the nose; related to Greek muxa mucus, muktēr nose

xref

See mucous

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 mucus

mucus

n.

1660s (replacing Middle English mucilage), from Latin mucus "slime, mold, mucus of the nose, snot," from PIE root *meug- "slippery, slimy," with derivatives referring to wet or slimy substances or conditions (cf. Latin emungere "to sneeze out, blow one's nose," mucere "be moldy or musty," Greek myssesthai "to blow the nose," myxa "mucus," mykes "fungus," Sanskrit muncati "he releases"). Old English had horh, which may be imitative.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for mucus

mucus

[ myōōkəs ]

n.

The viscous slippery substance that consists chiefly of mucin, water, cells, and inorganic salts and that is secreted as a protective lubricant coating by the cells and glands of the mucous membranes.

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

Science definitions for mucus

mucus

[ myōōkəs ]

The slimy, viscous substance secreted as a protective lubricant by mucous membranes. Mucus is composed chiefly of large glycoproteins called mucins and inorganic salts suspended in water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for mucus

mucus

A slippery and somewhat sticky fluid secreted by the glands in mucous membranes. Mucus lubricates and protects the mucous membranes.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.