Definition of ethmoid in English:


(also ethmoid bone)


  • A square bone at the root of the nose, forming part of the cranium, and having many perforations through which the olfactory nerves pass to the nose.

    [as modifier] ‘ossification in the ethmoid region’
    • ‘The frontal, maxillary and most of the ethmoid sinuses drain into this small channel.’
    • ‘Fleshy bundles may pass from the front and upper part of the planum of the ethmoid bone across the orbit to the levator.’
    • ‘At least 1 percent of persons in the population have symptomatic nasal polyps and up to 42 percent may have asymptomatic polyps on careful examination of the middle meatus, middle turbinate and ethmoids.’
    • ‘The rich vascular supply of the nose originates from the ethmoid branches of the internal carotid arteries and the facial and internal maxillary divisions of the external carotid arteries.’
    • ‘On each side of the groove the dura is rough, because of its attachment to the cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone and because it is pierced by numerous olfactory nerve bundles.’


Mid 18th century: from Greek ēthmoeidēs, from ēthmos a sieve.