Definition of modiolus in US English:


nounPlural modioli

  • The conical central axis of the cochlea of the ear.

    • ‘In my third torsion model, I augmented the wooden modiolus with a metal plate of the same circumference.’
    • ‘The bulla was opened to expose the cochlea, the bony capsule was removed, and the apical turn of the organ of Corti was dissected from the modiolus.’
    • ‘Specifically, we find that the TM is more rigid toward the inner zones where the tissue attaches to the modiolus and generally softest in the neighborhood of the sensory hair cells.’
    • ‘The inferolateral boundaries extend downward and medially from the modioli to the mentolabial sulcus.’


Early 19th century: from Latin, literally ‘nave of a wheel’.