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Definition of «Nose»

Nose: The external midline projection from the face.

The purpose of the nose is to warm, clean, and humidify the air you breath. In addition, it helps you to smell and taste. A normal person will produce about two quarts of fluid each day (mucus), which aids in keeping the respiratory tract clean and moist. Tiny microscopic hairs (cilia) line the surfaces helping to brush away particles. Eventually this mucus blanket is moved to the back of the throat where it is unconsciously swallowed. This entire process is closely regulated by several body systems.

The nose is divided into two passage ways by a partition called the septum. Opening to these passage ways are the nostrils. Protruding into each breathing passage are bony projections, called turbinates, which help to increase the surface area of the inside of the nose. There are three turbinates on each side of the nose (the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates). The sinuses are four paired air-filled chambers which empty into the nasal cavity. Their purpose is not really known.

The word "nose" comes from the Latin "nasus" which meant "nose" and gave rise to the adjective "nasal." The word "nostril" was once spelled "nosethirl" and literally was "a hole pierced in the nose."

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