What does nostril mean?

Definitions for nostril
ˈnɒs trəlnos·tril

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word nostril.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. nostril, anterior naris(noun)

    either one of the two external openings to the nasal cavity in the nose


  1. nostril(Noun)

    Either of the two orifices located on the nose (or on the beak of a bird); used as a passage for air and other gases to travel the nasal passages.

    Etymology: From nose + thirl.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Nostril(noun)

    one of the external openings of the nose, which give passage to the air breathed and to secretions from the nose and eyes; one of the anterior nares

    Etymology: [OE. nosethril, nosethirl, AS. nosyrl; nos for nosu nose + yrel opening, hole, from yrel pierced, for yrhel, fr. purh through. 261. See Nose, and Through, and cf. Thrill.]

  2. Nostril(noun)

    perception; insight; acuteness

    Etymology: [OE. nosethril, nosethirl, AS. nosyrl; nos for nosu nose + yrel opening, hole, from yrel pierced, for yrhel, fr. purh through. 261. See Nose, and Through, and cf. Thrill.]


  1. Nostril

    A nostril is one of the two channels of the nose, from the point where they bifurcate to the external opening. In birds and mammals, they contain branched bones or cartilages called turbinates, whose function is to warm air on inhalation and remove moisture on exhalation. Fish do not breathe through their noses, but they do have two small holes used for smelling which may, indeed, be called nostrils. The Procellariiformes are distinguished from other birds by having tubular extensions of their nostrils. In humans, the nasal cycle is the normal ultradian cycle of each nostril's blood vessels becoming engorged in swelling, then shrinking. The nostrils are separated by the septum. The septum can sometimes be deviated, causing one nostril to appear larger than the other. With extreme damage to the septum, the two nostrils are no longer separated and form a single larger external opening. Like other tetrapods, humans have two external nostrils and two additional nostrils inside the head. These internal nostrils are called "choanae" and each contains approximately 1000 strands of nasal hair. They also connect the nose to the throat, aiding in respiration. Though all four were outside the head of our fish ancestors, they migrated back inside as evidenced by the discovery of Kenichthys campbelli, a 395 million-year-old fossilized fish which shows this migration in progress. It has two nostrils between its front teeth, similar to human embryos at an early stage. If these fail to join up, the result is a cleft palate.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Nostril

    nos′tril, n. one of the openings of the nose. [M. E. nosethirl—A.S. nosthyrlnosu, nose, thyrel, opening. Cf. Drill, to pierce, and Thrill.]

Editors Contribution

  1. nostril

    A channel of the nose.

    We have two nostrils in the human nose.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 11, 2020  

How to pronounce nostril?

  1. Alex
    US English

How to say nostril in sign language?

  1. nostril


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of nostril in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of nostril in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of nostril in a Sentence

  1. Holly Bourne:

    I'm at almost two weeks now and about 70 % of my sense of smell has returned. One nostril is doing better than the other nostril.

  2. Tia Mowry:

    That’s the coolest thing about this flu vaccination, a doctor or nurse sprays it up each nostril— it’s as simple as that. [Cree] had allergies, so he’s used to getting things sprayed up his nose. He prefers [the nasal spray] as opposed to needles.

  3. Dave Chauvette:

    Addie and I became really good friends, real quick. I held her head up, talked to her for a little white and I gave her half a dose in her right nostril. We waited a few minutes and I gave her the other half in her left nostril and it seemed to have the desired effect.

  4. Charles Littnan:

    This is a good example that no matter how well studied or watched an animal is, it is always going to present The HMSRP with something The HMSRP have never seen before, sometimes it is an amazing demonstration of intelligence or physical ability, sometimes it is a juvenile seal with an eel stuck in its nostril.

  5. Vikrant Parsai:

    Those who say that simple things don’t matter should ask a lion how he feels when a fly enters a nostril.

Images & Illustrations of nostril

  1. nostrilnostrilnostrilnostrilnostril

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