nounplural noun cochleae/-lēˌē/ /-lēˌī/
The spiral cavity of the inner ear containing the organ of Corti, which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations.‘The inner ear includes the cochlea, the hearing organ, and the semicircular canals and otolith organs, the sense organs of balance.’
- ‘In the cochlea in the inner ear, the vibrations are changed into electric signals that move along the nerves to the brain.’
- ‘This measures the responses the cochlea makes to sounds produced by a probe placed in the outer ear.’
- ‘In man, the cochlea and the organ of Corti follow a spiral course of two and one half turns.’
- ‘By completely bypassing the damaged part of the cochlea, the cochlear implant uses its own electrical signals to stimulate the auditory nerve, allowing the person to hear.’
Mid 16th century (used to denote spiral objects): from Latin, ‘snail shell or screw’, from Greek kokhlias. The current sense dates from the late 17th century.