• synonyms


noun, plural u·re·thrae [yoo-ree-three] /yʊˈri θri/, u·re·thras. Anatomy.
  1. the membranous tube that extends from the urinary bladder to the exterior and that in the male conveys semen as well as urine.
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Origin of urethra

1625–35; < Late Latin < Greek ourḗthra, equivalent to ourē- (see ureter) + -thra noun suffix
Related formsu·re·thral, adjectivesub·u·re·thral, adjectivetrans·u·re·thral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for urethra


noun plural -thrae (-θriː) or -thras
  1. the canal that in most mammals conveys urine from the bladder out of the body. In human males it also conveys semen
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Derived Formsurethral, adjective

Word Origin for urethra

C17: via Late Latin from Greek ourēthra, from ourein to urinate
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 urethra


"canal through which urine is discharged from the bladder," 1630s, from Late Latin urethra, from Greek ourethra "the passage for urine," coined by Hippocrates from ourein "to urinate," from ouron (see urine).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

urethra in Medicine


n. pl. u•re•thras
  1. The canal through which urine is discharged from the bladder in most mammals and through which semen is discharged in the male.urogenital canal
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Related formsu•rethral adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

urethra in Science


Plural urethras urethrae (yu-rēthrē)
  1. The duct through which urine passes from the bladder to the outside of the body in most mammals and some fish and birds. In males, the urethra passes through the penis and also serves as the duct for the release of sperm, which enter the urethra from the vas deferens.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

urethra in Culture



A tube through which urine moves from the urinary bladder out of the body. In the male, the urethra also acts as the passageway for semen.

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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.