Definition for AR'TE-RY

AR'TE-RY, n. [Gr. αρτηρια, from αηρ, air, and τηρεω, to preserve or contain; so called, from the opinion of the ancients, that the arteries contain or circulate air. The term was also applied to the trachea or wind-pipe, arteria aspera. In Ger. luft-adar, air-vein, is the name for artery; in Dutch, slag-ader, stroke vein; in Swed. puls-ader, pulse-vein; Dan. puls-aare, pulse-vein; that is, the beating vein.]

A cylindrical vessel or tube, which conveys the blood from the heart to all parts of the body. There are two principal arteries; the aorta, which rises from the left ventricle and ramifies through the whole body; and the pulmonary artery, which conveys the blood from the right ventricle to the lungs, to undergo respiration. An artery is composed of three coats; the outer consists of condensed cellular membrane, and is supplied with numerous blood-vessels and nerves; the middle coat consists of circular fibres, generally supposed to be muscular; the inner coat, thin, smooth, and dense, confines the blood within its canal, and facilitates its motion. – Parr. Cyc.

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