What does mucus mean?

Definitions for mucus
ˈmyu kəsmu·cus

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word mucus.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. mucus, mucous secretionnoun

    protective secretion of the mucus membranes; in the gut it lubricates the passage of food and protects the epithelial cells; in the nose and throat and lungs it can make it difficult for bacteria to penetrate the body through the epithelium


  1. mucusnoun

    A slippery secretion from the lining of the mucous membranes.

  2. Etymology: Borrowed from mucus.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. MUCUSnoun

    Is most properly used for that which flows from the papillary processes through the os cribriforme into the nostrils; but it is also used for any slimy liquor or moisture, as that which daubs over and guards the bowels and all the chief passages in the body; and it is separated by the mucilaginous glands. John Quincy

    Etymology: Latin.

    In the action of chewing, the mucus mixeth with the aliment: the mucus is an humour different from the spittle, and the great quantity of air which it contains helps to dissolve the aliment. John Arbuthnot, on Aliments.


  1. Mucus

    Mucus ( MEW-kəs) is a slippery aqueous secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. It is typically produced from cells found in mucous glands, although it may also originate from mixed glands, which contain both serous and mucous cells. It is a viscous colloid containing inorganic salts, antimicrobial enzymes (such as lysozymes), immunoglobulins (especially IgA), and glycoproteins such as lactoferrin and mucins, which are produced by goblet cells in the mucous membranes and submucosal glands. Mucus serves to protect epithelial cells in the linings of the respiratory, digestive, and urogenital systems, and structures in the visual and auditory systems from pathogenic fungi, bacteria and viruses. Most of the mucus in the body is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. Amphibians, fish, snails, slugs, and some other invertebrates also produce external mucus from their epidermis as protection against pathogens, and to help in movement and is also produced in fish to line their gills. Plants produce a similar substance called mucilage that is also produced by some microorganisms.


  1. mucus

    Mucus is a viscous, slippery substance produced by the mucous membranes in the body, primarily for the purpose of protecting and lubricating various organs and tissues such as the nasal passages, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. It often helps trap foreign particles like dust, bacteria, and allergens, preventing them from causing infection or harm.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Mucusnoun

    a viscid fluid secreted by mucous membranes, which it serves to moisten and protect. It covers the lining membranes of all the cavities which open externally, such as those of the mouth, nose, lungs, intestinal canal, urinary passages, etc

  2. Mucusnoun

    any other animal fluid of a viscid quality, as the synovial fluid, which lubricates the cavities of the joints; -- improperly so used

  3. Mucusnoun

    a gelatinous or slimy substance found in certain algae and other plants

  4. Etymology: [L. mucus, muccus; cf. mucere to be moldy or musty, Gr. my`xa mucus, and Skr. muc to release. Cf. Match for striking fire, Moist, Mucilage.]


  1. Mucus

    In vertebrates, mucus is a slippery secretion produced by, and covering, mucous membranes. Mucous fluid is typically produced from cells found in mucous glands. Mucous cells secrete products that are rich in glycoproteins and water. Mucous fluid may also originate from mixed glands, which contain both serous and mucous cells. It is a viscous colloid containing antiseptic enzymes, immunoglobulins, inorganic salts, proteins such as lactoferrin, and glycoproteins known as mucins that are produced by goblet cells in the mucous membranes and submucosal glands. This mucus serves to protect epithelial cells in the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital, visual, and auditory systems in mammals; the epidermis in amphibians; and the gills in fish. A major function of this mucus is to protect against infectious agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses. The average human body produces about a litre of mucus per day. Bony fish, hagfish, snails, slugs, and some other invertebrates also produce external mucus. In addition to serving a protective function against infectious agents, such mucus provides protection against toxins produced by predators, can facilitate movement and may play a role in communication.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Mucus

    mū′kus, n. the slimy fluid from the nose: the viscous fluid secreted by the mucous membrane of animals.—adjs. Mūcif′erous; Mūcif′ic; Mū′ciform.—n. Mū′cigen, a substance secreted by the cells of mucous membrane, converted into mucin.—adjs. Mūcig′enous, Mūcip′arous, secreting mucus.—n. Mū′cilage, the solution of a gum in water: the gum extracted from plants.—adj. Mucilag′inous, pertaining to, or secreting, mucilage: slimy.—n. Mū′cin, an alkaline glutinous fluid forming the chief constituent of mucus.—adjs. Mūciv′orous, feeding on the juices of plants; Mū′coid, like mucus; Mūcopū′rulent, pertaining to mucus and pus.—n. Mucos′ity.—adjs. Muco′so-sac′charine, partaking of the properties of mucilage and sugar; Mū′cous, like mucus: slimy: viscous; Mū′culent, like mucus.—Mucous membrane (see Membrane). [L., cf. L. mungĕre, wipe away.]

U.S. National Library of Medicine

  1. Mucus

    The viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.

Suggested Resources

  1. Mucus

    Mucus vs. Mucous -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Mucus and Mucous.

How to pronounce mucus?

How to say mucus in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of mucus in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of mucus in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of mucus in a Sentence

  1. Holly Phillips:

    When you lie on your back, mucus collects in your sinus cavities, which can lead to secondary infections or chronic sinusitis.

  2. Holly Phillips:

    Fluids help thin out the mucus that your body makes when you're sick, and when that germ-filled mucus is thinner, it's easier to clear out of your system.

  3. Joel Batzofin:

    There are women that produce mucus of a thick viscus quality, and it sticks and lodges in there. The fallopian tube at the uterine end is very narrow and it gets blocked in there, so it’s quite easy to imagine that a course of physical therapy is going to soften this up, dislodge it and clear Clear Passage.

  4. Robert Eitches:

    Some people believe that inflammatory foods such as milk and wheat increase mucus production, another school of thought that I have seen to work both anecdotally with my patients and with Robert Eitches is eating spicy foods.

  5. Ron Brooks:

    They're the ones you hear about jumping up and hitting people and even breaking bones sometimes, they spew blood and mucus as a stress response. If they land in your boat, they'll be flopping around, and they'll get slime around.

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Translations for mucus

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"mucus." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/mucus>.

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    a protective covering (as for a knife or sword)
    A sweep
    B sheath
    C whitewash
    D muddle

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