Definition of nostril in English:



  • Either of two external openings of the nasal cavity in vertebrates that admit air to the lungs and smells to the olfactory nerves.

    • ‘Humans may have two nostrils, but these don't necessarily share the same sense of smell.’
    • ‘The jelly or nose spray is put just inside your nostril on the septum.’
    • ‘Tilt their head back, lift up the chin, and pinch the nostrils together.’
    • ‘So if you're putting it into your right nostril you should lean towards your right ear, with your head forward.’
    • ‘Plug the other nostril and have the child gently blow through the nostril where the object is stuck.’
    • ‘A hole is pierced through the skin and cartilage of the nostril.’
    • ‘Their smells floated into his nostrils, each one distinct, unique, intoxicating.’
    • ‘The trunk is actually an elongation of the nose and has nostrils on the tip.’
    • ‘Then, with the nosepiece inserted into the nostril, aim the spray towards the inner corner of the eye.’
    • ‘I could see the group standing nervously on the river bank, their nostrils flaring wildly.’
    • ‘I shuddered as its piercing smell shot through my nostrils and into my poor head.’
    • ‘Place your index finger of your right hand between your eyebrows, your thumb on your right nostril and your ring finger on your left nostril.’
    • ‘He was about to reach shore, but then the haunting smell reached his nostrils again.’
    • ‘Touch your thumb to your right nostril and your ring finger to your left nostril.’
    • ‘By their shape, she must have assumed that they were to be fitted into her nostrils.’
    • ‘Both specimens were obtained without instillation of any solution into the nostrils.’
    • ‘The sight sickened her, as the smell reached her nostrils - decay, excrement and urine.’
    • ‘Your surgeon will make cuts inside your nostrils to reach the bone and cartilage.’
    • ‘Fluid was collected from the left nostril and found to be sterile.’
    • ‘If you just close one nostril and breathe out and then close the other nostril and breathe out you'll notice one of them is more open than the other.’


Old English nosterl, nosthyrl, from nosu ‘nose’ + thȳr(e)l ‘hole’.