Definition of neuromast in English:



  • A sensory organ of fishes and larval or aquatic amphibians, typically forming part of the lateral line system.

    • ‘The neuromasts of this canal are the only ones to be innervated by the otic branch of the facialis nerve, or by its superficial ophthalmic branch.’
    • ‘The lateral line system of fishes and many amphibians comprises lines of mechanoreceptive neuromasts distributed over the head and trunk.’
    • ‘Adult salamanders that feed in water possess both ampullary organs and neuromasts, and probably use both to direct their feeding strikes, in addition to visual, olfactory, and tactile cues.’
    • ‘The size and number of cranial neuromasts has increased, possibly to more effectively avoid obstacles while swimming in darkness.’
    • ‘The macular neuromast organs bear otoliths, as described above.’


Early 20th century: from neuro- ‘of nerves’ + Greek mastos ‘breast’.