Definition of nostril in English:



  • Either of two external openings of the nasal cavity in vertebrates that admit air to the lungs and smells to the olfactory nerves.

    • ‘Plug the other nostril and have the child gently blow through the nostril where the object is stuck.’
    • ‘He was about to reach shore, but then the haunting smell reached his nostrils again.’
    • ‘I could see the group standing nervously on the river bank, their nostrils flaring wildly.’
    • ‘Both specimens were obtained without instillation of any solution into the nostrils.’
    • ‘So if you're putting it into your right nostril you should lean towards your right ear, with your head forward.’
    • ‘Their smells floated into his nostrils, each one distinct, unique, intoxicating.’
    • ‘A hole is pierced through the skin and cartilage of the nostril.’
    • ‘Touch your thumb to your right nostril and your ring finger to your left nostril.’
    • ‘If you just close one nostril and breathe out and then close the other nostril and breathe out you'll notice one of them is more open than the other.’
    • ‘Your surgeon will make cuts inside your nostrils to reach the bone and cartilage.’
    • ‘Then, with the nosepiece inserted into the nostril, aim the spray towards the inner corner of the eye.’
    • ‘By their shape, she must have assumed that they were to be fitted into her nostrils.’
    • ‘Humans may have two nostrils, but these don't necessarily share the same sense of smell.’
    • ‘Place your index finger of your right hand between your eyebrows, your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril.’
    • ‘The sight sickened her, as the smell reached her nostrils - decay, excrement and urine.’
    • ‘Fluid was collected from the left nostril and found to be sterile.’
    • ‘The trunk is actually an elongation of the nose and has nostrils on the tip.’
    • ‘Tilt their head back, lift up the chin, and pinch the nostrils together.’
    • ‘I shuddered as its piercing smell shot through my nostrils and into my poor head.’
    • ‘The jelly or nose spray is put just inside your nostril on the septum.’


Old English nosterl, nosthyrl, from nosu ‘nose’ + thȳr(e)l ‘hole’.