Meaning of fenestra in English:


Pronunciation /fɪˈnɛstrə/

nounplural noun fenestrae/fɪˈnɛstriː/

  • 1Anatomy Zoology
    A small natural hole or opening, especially in a bone. The mammalian middle ear is linked by the fenestra ovalis to the vestibule of the inner ear, and by the fenestra rotunda to the cochlea.

    ‘Displacement of bones obscures anatomical details, but the fenestra ovalis seems to be absent.’
    • ‘The stapes terminates at a well-defined fenestra ovalis, suggesting that the stapes was specialized for hearing.’
    • ‘Most of the basal plate has been eliminated to accommodate the increased size of the fenestra ovalis.’
    • ‘It opened to the outer world through what is presumed to be a fenestra ovalis.’
    • ‘The maxilla and lacrimal meet on the dorsal rim of this fenestra in a tight, complex suture.’
  • 2Medicine
    An artificial opening.

    ‘Similarly, the postfrontal is damaged ventrally between the orbit and the infraorbital fenestra.’
    • ‘There is a sharp crest along the median symphysis, and the symphysis protrudes into the pelvic fenestra but does not meet with its ischial counterpart.’
    1. 2.1An opening in a bandage or cast.
      ‘In our experiments, it is clear that extended imaging does cause the cells to respond; imaging for more than 1.5-2 h results in a significant enlargement of fenestrae and eventually causes the cells to detach.’
      • ‘The incomplete squamosals also slope laterally and ventrally away from the parietals, slightly depressing posterior margin of the supratemporal fenestrae.’
      • ‘The fused parietals form the posterior two-thirds of the sagittal crest, expanding posteriorly to form a flattened, sculpted deck behind the supratemporal fenestrae adjacent to the squamosals.’
      • ‘The supratemporal fenestrae are long and narrow.’
      • ‘The two supratemporal fenestrae begin to close, getting smaller, sometimes asymmetrically.’
    2. 2.2A perforation in a forceps blade.
      • ‘This expansion allows the jaw musculature to be stronger and also permits a wider gape (in other amniotes, the lateral temporal fenestrae perform a similar function).’
    3. 2.3A hole made by surgical fenestration.
      ‘The large post-temporal fenestrae (large holes in the back of the skull) of turtles allow the jaw musculature to expand beyond the confines of the adductor chamber.’
      • ‘As experience mounted the time taken for surgery fell, bigger fenestra were created and the propensity for iatrogenic trauma and hence postoperative scarring diminished.’


Early 19th century (as a botanical term denoting a small scar left by the separation of the seed from the ovary): from Latin, literally ‘window’.