Definition of cartilage in US English:



  • 1Firm, whitish, flexible connective tissue found in various forms in the larynx and respiratory tract, in structures such as the external ear, and in the articulating surfaces of joints. It is more widespread in the infant skeleton, being replaced by bone during growth.

    • ‘Often, the pain is the result of an injury such as a ruptured ligament or torn cartilage.’
    • ‘Articular cartilage is vulnerable to injury and has poor potential for repair so damage can lead to arthritis many years after injury.’
    • ‘Deeper in the airway wall there is cartilage and smooth muscle.’
    • ‘Normally, the ball moves smoothly in its socket on a lining of shock-absorbing cartilage.’
    • ‘The ends of the bones have a smooth covering called the articular cartilage.’
    • ‘Once injured, articular cartilage doesn't heal well, or typically at all on its own.’
    • ‘The loose bodies may remain free in the joint space and grow via layering of cartilage and bone.’
    • ‘The human body has a dynamic framework of bone and cartilage called the skeleton.’
    • ‘The shape of the nose is defined by shadows as the skin moves over cartilage and bone.’
    • ‘Here the two bones contact each other directly with no intervening space for articular cartilage.’
    • ‘A hole is pierced through the skin and cartilage of the nostril.’
    • ‘One third is found in the muscles and the rest in the bones, skin, cartilage and especially the blood.’
    • ‘The inflamed joint lining, the synovium, can invade and damage bone and cartilage.’
    • ‘An imbalance of growth factors affecting the cartilage and underlying bone may also contribute.’
    • ‘This involves taking a piece of cartilage from elsewhere in your body and putting it in your knee, to replace the damaged cartilage.’
    • ‘During surgery the skin of the nose is separated from its supporting bone and cartilage, which is then sculpted to the desired shape.’
    • ‘Alternatively the ligaments may become loose, so that the disc of cartilage no longer stays between the jaw bone and the skull when the joint is moved.’
    • ‘The results of this study in rabbits showed no sign of cartilage and bone formation.’
    1. 1.1 A particular structure made of cartilage.
      ‘his knees failed and the cartilages were removed’
      • ‘I never damaged any ligaments, still today have my original cartilages, I never broke anything and hardly had even a stitch put in me.’
      • ‘Early reconstruction is advisable to avoid likelihood of damage to the cartilages of knee and osteo-arthritis.’
      • ‘His liver, both his kidneys, his heart valves, cartilages, skin and tendons were transplanted in operations which helped more than 30 people.’
      • ‘He also injured a few rib cartilages,’ said Verster.’
      • ‘Her left foot is currently in plaster after an operation to replace damaged cartilages with an artificial joint, the result of years of wearing high heels to make her look taller (she is only five foot).’
      • ‘The list of broken bones, ripped ligaments and torn cartilages is similarly daunting, and he wakes each morning to be reminded by a chronically aching body, of the physical damage he has inflicted on himself.’
      • ‘Historians believe these 130 million year old bony cartilages represent the evolutionary link between the jaw and the ear, effectively serving as a middle ear.’
      • ‘Ayurvedic therapy in osteoarthritis not only prevents further deterioration in the joints but also rejuvenates the damaged cartilages.’
      • ‘The pathologist retracts the skin and superficial muscles from the chest and abdomen, and cuts the cartilages holding the ribs to the sternum, which is then removed.’
      • ‘The famous Dr. Hauschka sets forth this doctrine to explain his interest in bamboo as he found its qualities effective against degenerative processes in the cartilages and conjunctive tissue.’
      • ‘The cartilages that cap the joints are tissues that constantly model themselves.’
      • ‘Cough, hoarseness, stridor, and wheezing may occur because of disintegration of the airway cartilages.’
      • ‘An X-ray of my shoulder showed that the bones and cartilages in my left shoulder and upper arm looked fine.’
      • ‘Common sense and cartilages will tell you that you don't have to cycle every day of your trip.’
      • ‘She was born with an extreme form of Treacher Collins Syndrome, which meant that her facial bones, ears and airway cartilages were not properly formed.’
      • ‘The cranial skeleton is composed of an assortment of cartilages and bones that have been highly modified during evolution.’
      • ‘The cartilages of the knee are two C-shaped pads, composed of an elastin-rich fibrous tissue which we physicians call ‘gristle‘.’
      • ‘The bones, cartilages, ligaments and joints of the jaw apparatus were examined under a stereo microscope.’
      • ‘Another pathologist is cutting the cartilages that join the ribs to the breastbone, in order to be able to enter the chest cavity.’


Late Middle English: from French, from Latin cartilago, cartilagin-.