labyrinth

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labyrinth

 [lab´ĭ-rinth]
the inner ear, consisting of the vestibule, cochlea, and semicircular canals. The cochlea is concerned with hearing and the vestibule and semicircular canals with the sense of equilibrium. (See also color plates.) adj., adj labyrin´thine. 

The bony portion of the labyrinth (osseous labyrinth) is composed of a series of canals tunneled out of the temporal bone. Inside the osseous labyrinth is the membranous labyrinth, which conforms to the general shape of the osseous labyrinth but is much smaller. A fluid called perilymph fills the space (perilymphatic space) between the osseous and membranous labyrinths. Fluid inside the membranous labyrinth is called endolymph. These fluids play an important role in the transmission of sound waves and the maintenance of body balance. The membranous labyrinth is divided into two parts: the cochlear labyrinth, which includes the perilymphatic space and the cochlear duct, and the vestibular labyrinth, which includes the utricle, saccule, and semicircular canals.

Disorders of the inner ear, such as labyrinthitis and meniere's disease, are characterized by episodes of dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss.
ethmoid labyrinth (ethmoidal labyrinth) either of the paired lateral masses of the ethmoid bone, consisting of numerous thin-walled cellular cavities, the ethmoidal cells.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

lab·y·rinth

(lab'i-rinth), [TA] Any of several anatomic structures with numerous intercommunicating cells or canals.
1. The internal or inner ear, composed of the semicircular ducts, vestibule, and cochlea.
2. Any group of communicating cavities, as in each lateral mass of the ethmoid bone.
3. A group of upright test tubes terminating below in a base of communicating, alternately ⊔-shaped and ⊓-shaped tubes, used for isolating motile from nonmotile organisms in culture, or a motile from a less motile organism (as the typhoid from the colon bacillus), the former traveling faster and farther through the tubes than the latter.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

labyrinth

(lăb′ə-rĭnth′)
n.
1.
a. An intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to find one's way; a maze.
b. Labyrinth Greek Mythology The maze in which the Minotaur was confined.
2. A design consisting of a single unbranching but highly convoluted path leading from the outside to the center of a usually circular or square space.
3. Something highly intricate or convoluted in character, composition, or construction: a labyrinth of rules and regulations.
4. Anatomy
a. A group of complex interconnecting anatomical cavities.
b. See inner ear.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

lab·y·rinth

(labi-rinth) [TA]
1. The internal or inner ear, composed of the semicircular ducts, vestibule, and cochlea.
2. Any group of communicating cavities, as in each lateral mass of the ethmoid bone.
3. A group of communicating culture tubes used for separating motile from nonmotile microorganisms.
Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing © Farlex 2012

labyrinth

Any group of communicating anatomical cavities, especially the internal ear, comprizing the vestibule, semicircular canals and the cochlea.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005

Labyrinth

The bony cavity of the inner ear.
Mentioned in: Labyrinthitis
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

lab·y·rinth

(labi-rinth) [TA]
Internal or inner ear, composed of the semicircular ducts, vestibule, and cochlea.
Medical Dictionary for the Dental Professions © Farlex 2012
References in periodicals archive ?
If the primary function of the Egyptian labyrinth was to prevent access to the sacred spaces of the dead, the essential mythic function of the Cretan Labyrinth was to prevent egress.
If we return now to Dorat's evocation of the ballet for the Polish ambassadors, we can see how loaded was his comparison of that performance to the Cretan labyrinth and to Ascanius's ludus.
The Cretan labyrinth was built by the archetype of all builders and designers, Daedalus: sculptor, architect, aeronaut, inventor of sails and ship rigging, designer of mechanical cows in which the Cretan queen Pasiphae could mate with a bull.
(cited in Campbell 1959, 450): Campbell also points out that "the Cretan labyrinth was difficult to enter and as difficult to leave" (1959, 69).
The book is an adaptation by choreographer Mark Baldwin of Andre Gide's novel about Theseus exploring the Cretan labyrinth and encountering the Minotaur.
In a similar manner the chain of associations in Borges's dream at Athens begins by invoking the name of Coleridge but then instead of moving on to the image of the sphinx (that is, to a direct allusion to Oedipus), the dream obliquely calls up a screen-figure of Oedipus (Theseus) through the reference to the encyclopedia entry on Crete (that is, the Cretan labyrinth, the Minotaur, and the Minotaur's slayer).