AskDefine | Define fenestra

Dictionary Definition

fenestra n : a small membrane-covered opening (especially one in the bone between the middle and inner ear) [also: fenestrae (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. an opening in a body, sometimes with a membrane


Alternative forms


  1. a window, an opening for light,
  2. a breach, a loophole
  3. an orifice, inlet
  4. an opportunity


Derived terms

Extensive Definition

Fenestræ (singular: fenestra) are small pores in epithelial cells to allow for rapid exchange of molecules between blood vessels and surrounding tissue. These pores can enlarge and contract at the action of various stimuli such as noradrenaline.
In anatomy, the term is used to refer to natural (as opposed to traumatic) openings in the skull or other bones. Fenestræ is the Latin plural for windows.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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