from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The tough fibrous membrane covering the brain and the spinal cord and lining the inner surface of the skull. It is the outermost of the three meninges that surround the brain and spinal cord.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The tough and inflexible outermost of the three layers of the meninges

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The tough, fibrous membrane, which lines the cavity of the skull and spinal column, and surrounds the brain and spinal cord; -- frequently abbreviated to dura.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The outermost membranous envelop or external meninx of the brain and spinal cord; a dense, tough, glistening fibrous membrane which lines the interior of the brain-case, but in the spinal column is separated from the periosteum lining the vertebræ by a space filled, with loose areolar tissue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the outermost (and toughest) of the 3 meninges


Middle English, from Medieval Latin dūra māter (cerebrī), hard mother (of the brain), dura mater (translation of Arabic 'umm ad-dimāġ aṣ-ṣāfigah, the dense mother of the brain, matrix of the brain) : Latin dūra, feminine of dūrus, hard; see duramen + Latin māter, mother; see mater.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
First attested circa 1400, from Medieval Latin dura mater cerebri hard mother of the brain, a loan translation of Arabic umm al-dimagh as-safigah, literally thick mother of the brain, matrix of the brain. (Wiktionary)


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