Definition of lung in US English:



  • 1Each of the pair of organs situated within the rib cage, consisting of elastic sacs with branching passages into which air is drawn, so that oxygen can pass into the blood and carbon dioxide be removed. Lungs are characteristic of vertebrates other than fish, though similar structures are present in some other animal groups.

    • ‘His treatise on the subject is the basis of our modern understanding of the pathology of the lung.’
    • ‘Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, followed by lung and bowel cancers.’
    • ‘She also suffered a mild heart attack due to the trauma and had a blood clot on her lung.’
    • ‘Less commonly, bowel cancer can spread to other, more distant organs such as the lung or brain.’
    • ‘McCollum didn't speak for two days in hospital while his lung was being drained of blood.’
    • ‘A bit of the clot can break off and end up blocking a vessel in your lung, causing a pulmonary embolus.’
    • ‘This is a hospital test where a narrow tube with a light and lens on the end is passed down the trachea and into the lung.’
    • ‘After nasal epithelial cells, the lung is the second organ in contact with cadmium chloride.’
    • ‘To our knowledge this is the first description in a lung transplant recipient.’
    • ‘After synthesis in the bone marrow, they migrate to the systemic circulation and on to the lung.’
    • ‘In the case of the lung arteries, this can block off much of the circulation through the lungs.’
    • ‘This was followed by a cancer scare in 1985 when a section of her left lung was removed.’
    • ‘Chest examination showed some decreased air entry at her left lung base with a loud pleural rub.’
    • ‘Other lung conditions such as lung cancer will need to be ruled out as part of the diagnosis.’
    • ‘This was illustrated in a randomised trial of screening for cancer of the lung.’
    • ‘As well as badly breaking his foot, he bruised a lung and broke his wrist, pelvis and two ribs in the fall.’
    • ‘He had to have half a lung removed and was forced to lay on his side or his back for five months.’
    • ‘To be fair, it's not age so much as the lung condition I suffered from a few years ago which has put a stop to my running.’
    • ‘Imprisonment cost him a lung and severe back problems for the rest of his life, but he never complained.’
    • ‘Finally she decided to go to a private doctor and realized that it was a severe lung disease.’
    1. 1.1usually lungs An open space in a town or city, where people can breathe fresher air.


Old English lungen, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch long and German Lunge, from an Indo-European root shared by light; compare with lights.