Definition of artery in US English:


nounPlural arteries

  • 1Any of the muscular-walled tubes forming part of the circulation system by which blood (mainly that which has been oxygenated) is conveyed from the heart to all parts of the body.

    Compare with vein (sense 1)
    • ‘Most are caused by a blood clot that forms in the veins, before passing through the heart and entering the arteries that carry blood to the lungs.’
    • ‘Normally, your blood flows from arteries into capillaries and back to your heart in veins.’
    • ‘Think of your arteries as tubes that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body.’
    • ‘Systolic pressure is the amount of pressure when the heart pumps blood into the arteries.’
    • ‘If an artery that supplies blood to your heart becomes blocked, you can have a heart attack.’
    • ‘Oxygen-carrying blood is pumped around the body in the arteries.’
    • ‘Two smaller arteries, the vertebral arteries, also supply blood to the brain.’
    • ‘Atherosclerosis can affect the arteries of the heart, brain, kidneys, other vital organs, and the arms and legs.’
    • ‘Over time, it can cause damage to the heart and arteries and other body organs.’
    • ‘Angiography is a special form of x-ray examination that shows the shape of the blood flow in arteries and veins.’
    • ‘As blood travels around the body in arteries and veins, it is under pressure.’
    • ‘Blood is carried from the heart in arteries and returns to it in veins.’
    • ‘Cerebral blood flow is provided by the internal carotid and vertebral arteries.’
    • ‘Thrombosis means the clotting of blood within an artery or a vein.’
    • ‘The cause of coronary heart disease is a narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart with blood.’
    • ‘The blood that flows through this network of veins and arteries is called whole blood.’
    • ‘An embolism in a coronary artery (an artery on the surface of the heart) can cause a heart attack.’
    • ‘Heart disease is a disease of the arteries that bring blood to the heart muscle.’
    • ‘The carotid arteries are the principal blood supply to the front of the brain.’
    • ‘Thus the fetus grows its own umbilical cord, containing its own blood vessels: two arteries and a single vein.’
    1. 1.1 An important route in a system of roads, rivers, or railroad lines.
      ‘the east-west artery between San Francisco and Sacramento’
      • ‘It is located just off the N5, which is the main artery between Dublin and Ballina.’
      • ‘While the company believes its ten depots cover the main motorway arteries and towns, there is still room for further expansion.’
      • ‘Bulldozers have cleared debris from some of the city's main arteries.’
      • ‘It's madness trying to close a road which is a main artery into Bedford.’
      • ‘It links two main arteries of the West Coast route: the line to Manchester via Stafford and Crewe and the line via Stoke on Trent.’
      • ‘New traffic figures show Scotland's main motorway artery is rapidly clogging up ahead of expert forecasts.’
      • ‘It's an absolute disgrace that the main artery of the town is closed.’
      • ‘During the Dutch colonial era this river was an important artery in the city.’
      • ‘She said this programme covers most of the Dingle Peninsula but not the N86 which is the main artery into it.’
      • ‘These rivers were vital navigational arteries for the Romans to reach the Bay of Bengal.’
      • ‘All the four posters were along Portland Road which is one of the main arteries through Hove.’
      • ‘It could see major roads and arteries into the city gridlocked as hundreds of lorries are stopped from accessing the docks.’
      • ‘As well as clogging the region¹s arteries with cars, motorway mania is harmful in other ways.’
      • ‘The best way to get a feel of this ancient land is to course down its main artery, the Nile, which has sustained it in the past.’
      • ‘Major arteries such as Bassett Avenue and Western Esplanade are also to be resurfaced over the summer months.’
      • ‘Along some of the main arteries that carry commuters on to Manhattan island, cars must contain more than two people to gain access.’
      • ‘This road is the main artery between Windhoek, southern Namibia and South Africa.’
      • ‘Scotland's blocked road arteries and poor public transport network have not helped the country's economic blues.’
      • ‘By the early 1950s the Tokaido line had enhanced its position as the main artery of Japan.’
      • ‘Students from Birmingham universities are taking to the main arteries of the city centre.’
      main route, trunk route, main road, trunk road, main line, trunk line, high road, highway
      View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Latin arteria, from Greek artēria, probably from airein ‘raise’.