Urethra

Definition

noun, plural: urethrae or urethras

(anatomy) The tube extending from the urinary bladder to the urinary meatus, through which urine (and semen, in males) is discharged to the external environment


Supplement

The urethra is a tube that conveys urine from the urinary bladder to the outside. It is a duct that connects the urinary bladder to the urethral opening (called urinary meatus). In most mammals, it serves as a duct or canal through which urine is discharged.

In males, it is about 25 centimetres. It is longer than that in the females (i.e. ranging from 4.8 cm to 5.1 cm). It travels through the penis. Aside from discharging urine, the urethra also serves as the male genital duct that discharges the semen. Aside from the external urethral sphincter that helps in voluntary control in urination, there is an additional sphincter muscle in males called the internal urethral sphincter.


Word origin: Latin ūrēthra, Greek ourēthra, ourein (to urinate)

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