Definition of cannula in English:



  • A thin tube inserted into a vein or body cavity to administer medication, drain off fluid, or insert a surgical instrument.

    • ‘An intravenous cannula is inserted and fluids are administered directly into the circulation.’
    • ‘Umbilical tapes are placed around the SVC and IVC cannulas to hold the cannulas and tourniquets in place during surgery.’
    • ‘The company's surgical navigator uses radiographic imaging to help a surgeon accurately guide cannulae and surgical instruments to targeted areas of the spine.’
    • ‘A second electrocardiograph was attached and an intravenous cannula inserted, and I was given some diamorphine.’
    • ‘Blood transfusions are most commonly received using a small plastic tube called a cannula, which is inserted into a vein in your arm.’


Late 17th century: from Latin ‘small reed’, diminutive of canna (see cane).