noun Anatomy, Zoology.
- a firm, elastic, flexible type of connective tissue of a translucent whitish or yellowish color; gristle.
- a part or structure composed of cartilage.
- a tough elastic tissue composing most of the embryonic skeleton of vertebrates. In the adults of higher vertebrates it is mostly converted into bone, remaining only on the articulating ends of bones, in the thorax, trachea, nose, and earsNontechnical name: gristle
early 15c., from Middle French cartilage (16c.) and directly from Latin cartilaginem (nominative cartilago) “cartilage, gristle,” possibly related to Latin crates “wickerwork.”
- A tough, elastic, fibrous connective tissue that is a major constituent of embryonic and young vertebrate skeletons, is converted largely to bone with maturation, and is found in various parts of the adult body, such as the joints, outer ear, and larynx.
- A strong, flexible connective tissue that is found in various parts of the body, including the joints, the outer ear, and the larynx. During the embryonic development of most vertebrates, the skeleton forms as cartilage before most of it hardens into bone. In cartilaginous fish, the mature fish retains a skeleton made of cartilage.
A kind of tough but elastic connective tissue that can withstand considerable pressure. It makes up portions of the skeletal system, such as the linings of the joints, where it cushions against shock. Cartilage is also found in other body structures, such as the nose and external ear.