Definition of neuromast in English:


Pronunciation /ˈn(y)o͝orəˌmast/ /ˈn(j)ʊrəˌmæst/


  • A sensory organ of fishes and larval or aquatic amphibians, typically forming part of the lateral line system.

    ‘The lateral line system of fishes and many amphibians comprises lines of mechanoreceptive neuromasts distributed over the head and trunk.’
    • ‘The macular neuromast organs bear otoliths, as described above.’
    • ‘Adult salamanders that feed in water possess both ampullary organs and neuromasts, and probably use both to direct their feeding strikes, in addition to visual, olfactory, and tactile cues.’
    • ‘The neuromasts of this canal are the only ones to be innervated by the otic branch of the facialis nerve, or by its superficial ophthalmic branch.’
    • ‘The size and number of cranial neuromasts has increased, possibly to more effectively avoid obstacles while swimming in darkness.’


Late 19th century from neuro-‘of nerves’ + Greek mastos ‘breast’.