• synonyms


[nos-truh l]
See more synonyms for nostril on Thesaurus.com
  1. either of the two external openings of the nose.
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Origin of nostril

before 1000; Middle English nostrill, Old English nosterl, variant of nosthyrl, equivalent to nos(u) nose + thyrel hole; see thirl
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for nostril

snout, beak, muzzle, snoot, proboscis, bill, nares, nostrils, adenoids, schnoz, snuffer, horn, sniffer, smeller

Examples from the Web for nostril

Historical Examples of nostril

  • The nose was long, prominent, and delicately sharp in the nostril.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

  • To drink, its end is inserted in the pool and water is drawn up the nostril.

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • In its nostril was sticking a sword, about three inches long, of a young swordfish.

  • And the smell of peaty clothes smote him on the nostril for the first time that day.

  • If none of these methods arrest the bleeding the nostril must be plugged.

British Dictionary definitions for nostril


  1. either of the two external openings of the noseRelated adjectives: narial, narine
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Word Origin for nostril

Old English nosthyrl, from nosu nose + thyrel hole
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 nostril


Old English nosþyrl, nosðirl, literally "the hole of the nose," from nosu "nose" (see nose (n.)) + þyrel "hole" (see thrill (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nostril in Medicine


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