Definition of nasal in US English:



  • 1Of, for, or relating to the nose.

    ‘the nasal passages’
    ‘a nasal spray’
    • ‘Upshot was, one nasal spray, two weeks off nursery school, constant nose-blowing and operations may not be as essential to future happiness as was previously thought.’
    • ‘If you love me, you'll send me tissues and nasal sprays.’
    • ‘You can, instead of getting a shot, I can actually just get a nasal spray.’
    • ‘It is an excellent method for opening blocked nasal passages.’
    • ‘Maybe there's more to my nasal passages than meets the eye.’
    • ‘Drops can relieve itchy eyes, and a nasal spray helps a blocked nose and sneezing.’
    • ‘The virus can be spread through direct contact or through the air, and can live in the environment - on clothes or hay or even in human nasal passages - for a month.’
    • ‘Your doctor might recommend using nose drops, a nasal spray, a decongestant, or an antihistamine.’
    • ‘The findings do not tell us anything about the benefits or risks of other modes of HRT administration such as patches, gels, implants or nasal spray.’
    • ‘It became apparent that I have a sizeable polyp that has gained a foothold across the top of my nose, blocking both of my nasal passages.’
    • ‘The company develops a unique anti-bleeding agent for use in first-aid products, such as plasters, sprays and nasal plugs.’
    • ‘There are several natural remedies available for snoring, ranging from throat lubricants and nasal sprays to nose strips.’
    • ‘Exercise releases adrenaline, a natural decongestant, which may explain why a run or other activity can help clear nasal passages.’
    • ‘And yet again, these problems are ‘solved’ with pills and lotions and nasal sprays.’
    • ‘It caught my nasal passages sharply, like a fishhook.’
    • ‘Tourists looking to give their nasal passages a workout should check out Japan's sulfurous hot springs, lavender blossoms and grilled eel, left, for starters.’
    • ‘Something's really wrong with my nasal passages.’
    • ‘Nose drop addiction is a vicious cycle requiring more frequent use of nose drops or spray to keep your nasal passages clear.’
    • ‘Treatment usually consists of antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops and, occasionally, desensitisation or steroid jabs.’
  • 2Phonetics
    (of a speech sound) pronounced by the voice resonating in the nose, e.g., m, n, ng.

    Compare with oral (sense 2 of the adjective)
    • ‘In the former, 12 vowels are distinguished, six oral vowels and six nasal vowels.’
    • ‘I have never, for instance, heard a speaker of English condemn the nasal vowels or the dropped consonants of the French language.’
    • ‘Hollow N representing nasal sound of vowels, as in French Vin.’
    • ‘English vowels may be partially nasalized when followed by a nasal consonant.’
    • ‘In Chinese pronunciation, basic vowels can form vowel combinations with each other or with a nasal consonant.’
    1. 2.1 (of the voice or speech) produced or characterized by resonating in the nose as well as the mouth.
      • ‘The voice lost its mysterious deep quality and rose to a nasal whine at the end of the sentence.’
      • ‘As an oldies act, his nasal whine, shockingly similar to his father's distinctive voice, grates on the nerves in stereo.’
      • ‘He has a deep and resonant or perhaps a high and nasal voice.’
      • ‘Sung in a whiny nasal voice over acoustic guitar strumming, the lyric would have been nothing short of painful.’
      • ‘It seemed like they had so much in common: nasal voices, a taste for writing long, slow, acoustic dirges, and a closet full of flannel.’
      • ‘The high-pitched, nasal voice stopped Kate's explanation in its tracks.’
      • ‘His voice is mildly nasal, mildly ironic, and in general, mild.’
      • ‘‘Sir, there is a woman here that has your name to get a room,’ the head serviceman says over the phone in a very nasal voice.’
      • ‘Was that a sob, hidden carefully in that whining, nasal voice?’
      • ‘She was ripped out of her thoughts when her father's loud nasal voice filled the hall, and she had to force herself not to cover her ears.’
      • ‘David's nasal voice managed to sound both sombre and aroused.’
      • ‘I don't have to ever again endure his nasal voice!’
      • ‘His voice was annoying since it had a nasal whine to it.’
      • ‘She stuttered incorrigibly and had a sharp, nasal voice, which grated on Flanagan's nerves throughout the painful forty-five minutes.’
      • ‘Indeed, her voice was quite nasal; her bright red nose couldn't hide it.’
      • ‘I glared icily at him, and then mimicked him in a false, high, nasal voice.’
      • ‘‘Alright class, take your seats,’ Mrs. Marks' nasal voice droned through the class.’
      • ‘Belle's nasal voice (which was fake) could be heard a mile away.’
      • ‘The lead singer stepped up to the mic, and spoke in a nasal voice.’
      • ‘A few girls snickered on the row behind them as warm-ups began; Mikelle's nasal voice often brought ridicule from others around her.’


  • 1A nasal speech sound.

    • ‘These consonants are generally referred to as nasal consonants or nasals.’
    • ‘From the point of view of the writer, there are a few ambiguities in that in certain environments syllable-final nasals may be written either as nasals or as the plain stops of the same point of articulation.’
    • ‘In fairness, we either don't/won't speak French or we speak it badly with an English speaker's difficulty over the French nasals.’
    • ‘There is one exception to this generalization - the velar nasal may not occur in onset position.’
  • 2historical A nosepiece on a helmet.

    • ‘Sometimes a nasal would be included to protect the face, often as an extension of the framework although it could be added separately.’


Middle English (in nasal (sense 2 of the noun)): from medieval Latin nasalis, from Latin nasus ‘nose’.