Definition of cartilaginous in US English:



  • 1(of a structure) made of cartilage.

    • ‘It is formed by cartilaginous, bony and connective tissue structures.’
    • ‘Although most of the nasal structures are cartilaginous, the nasal bones usually are fractured in an injury.’
    • ‘Over the years, a 64-year-old man has had repeated bouts of tenderness of the cartilaginous part of both ears that typically last for one to two weeks.’
    • ‘The human larynx is composed of cartilaginous tissue that early in adulthood progressively undergoes ossification.’
    • ‘There are three types of joints, fibrous, cartilaginous, and synovial.’
    chewy, leathery, gristly, stringy, fibrous, sinewy
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    1. 1.1Zoology (of a vertebrate animal) having a skeleton of cartilage.
      • ‘Like all sharks, dogfish have no true bones but make do with a cartilaginous skeleton.’
      • ‘Since sturgeons and paddlefish have lost many traits of most bony fish - they lack scales and have a cartilaginous skeleton - their fossil records are very sparse.’
      • ‘These organisms had a cartilaginous internal skeleton and a bony exoskeleton.’
      • ‘This property (among others) allows the tail to be light and flexible, yet stiff enough to generate thrust in the absence of a bony or cartilaginous skeleton.’
      • ‘The freshwater sawfish, a ray, is related to stingrays, skates, sharks, and other fishes with cartilaginous skeletons.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin cartilaginosus, from cartilago, cartilagin- ‘cartilage’.