• WordNet 3.6
    • n diaphragm a mechanical device in a camera that controls size of aperture of the lens "the new cameras adjust the diaphragm automatically"
    • n diaphragm electro-acoustic transducer that vibrates to receive or produce sound waves
    • n diaphragm a contraceptive device consisting of a flexible dome-shaped cup made of rubber or plastic; it is filled with spermicide and fitted over the uterine cervix
    • n diaphragm (anatomy) a muscular partition separating the abdominal and thoracic cavities; functions in respiration
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The first contraceptive diaphragms, centuries ago, were citrus rinds (i.e., half an orange rind). Casanova used half lemon rinds as a cervical cap and the acidic juice as a potent spremicide(something that kills sperms).
    • Diaphragm (Zoöl) A calcareous plate which divides the cavity of certain shells into two parts.
    • Diaphragm A dividing membrane or thin partition, commonly with an opening through it.
    • Diaphragm (Mach) A partition in any compartment, for various purposes.
    • Diaphragm (Opt) A plate with an opening, which is generally circular, used in instruments to cut off marginal portions of a beam of light, as at the focus of a telescope.
    • Diaphragm (Anat) The muscular and tendinous partition separating the cavity of the chest from that of the abdomen; the midriff.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Three chemicals are used to execute criminals by lethal injection. First, Sodium Thiopental is injected, causing the inmate to fall into a deep sleep. The second chemical agent, Pancuronium Bromide, a muscle relaxer, follows. This causes the inmate to stop breathing due to paralyses of the diaphragm and lungs. Finally, Potassium Chloride is injected, stopping the heart.
    • n diaphragm A partition; something which divides or separates. Specifically
    • n diaphragm In mech.: A thin piece, generally of metal, serving as a partition, or for some other special purpose: as, the vibrating diaphragm of a telephone, for the communication of transmitted sounds, A ring, or a plate pierced with a circular hole so arranged as to fall in the axis of the instrument, used in optical instruments to cut off marginal beams of light, as in a camera or a telescope. Such diaphragms are often made movable, especially for photographic lenses, so that one with a large opening may be inserted when it is desired to admit abundant light to the lens, in order to use a short exposure, and one with a small opening when sharpness of detail is more desirable than shortness of exposure.
    • n diaphragm In anatomy, the midriff; the museulomembranous partition which separates the thoracic from the abdominal cavity in mammals. In man the diaphragm consists of a muscular sheet whose fibers radiate from a trefoil tendinous center to attach themselves to the lower margins of the thorax, and behind form a large bundleon cither side, called pillars of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is pierced by three principal openings: the esophageal, for the passage of the esophagus accompanied by the pneumogastric nerves; the aortic, for the passage of the aorta, thoracic duct, and large azygous vein; and the caval, for the inferior vena cava; besides some others for splanchnic nerves, etc. The diaphragm is invested on its thoracic surface by the pleural and pericardial serous membranes; on its abdominal surface by the peritoneum, a fold of which, reflected upon the liver, forms the suspensory ligament of that organ. The diaphragm is deeply concavo-convex, the convexity upward; the general figure is that of an umbrella. It is a powerful respiratory muscle, contracting at each inspiration and so flattening, while its relaxation in expiration renders it more convex; its contraction also assists in defecation and in parturition, and its spasmodic action is concerned in hiccough and sneezing; when most relaxed it rises to the level of about the fifth rib. A rudimentary diaphragm exists in birds; it is best developed in the apteryx.
    • n diaphragm In cryptogamic botany, in Equisetum, a transverse partition in the stem at the node; in Selaginella and its allies, a layer separating the prothallium from the cavity of the macrospore; in Characeæ, a constriction formed by the enveloping cells near the tip of the oögonium.
    • n diaphragm In conchology, a septum or shelf-like plate extending into the cavity of a shell, more or less partitioning it.
    • n diaphragm A thin ring or plate, pierced with a hole which is usually, but not always, circular. A series of these is attached to the inside of the tube of a telescope or other optical instrument for the purpose of preventing reflections of light from the inner walls of the tube.
    • n diaphragm A sheet or disk of flexible material, confined at the edges, but free to yield to pressure on one side or the other: used in regulating-devices where pressure is one element, and to operate valves by a pressure from a distance.
    • n diaphragm In tunnel-work, a partition separating the working-face from the first chamber.
    • n diaphragm In statistical mechanics, a portion of space, separating two ensembles of systems of molecules, such that there is no interchange of particles between the two.
    • n diaphragm In pathology, a membranous structure which partly or completely closes the lumen of a tube or cavity: as, inherited diaphragm of the larynx.
    • diaphragm To interpose in the path of a beam of light, or in the field of an optical instrument, a screen containing an aperture; specifically, in photography, to reduce the aperture of an objective by the use of a diaphragm.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Diaphragm dī′a-fram a thin partition or dividing membrane: the midriff, a structure separating the chest from the abdomen: a metal plate with a central hole, for cutting off side-rays in a camera, &c
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. diaphragma, Gr. , fr. to fence by a partition wall; dia` through + , , to fence, inclose; prob. akin to L. fareire, to stuff: cf. F. diaphragme,. See Farce
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. diaphragmadia, across, phragnynai, to fence.


In literature:

When at last his breathing became easier and his diaphragm moved without pain, Sime knew that danger was greatest.
"The Martian Cabal" by Roman Frederick Starzl
The cellate diaphragm of the G.C.
"Invasion" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
Jon could do nothing except watch, even his vocal diaphragm was locked by the magnetic field.
"The Velvet Glove" by Harry Harrison
The cut at the bottom is made through a bud in such a way as to leave the diaphragm.
"Manual of American Grape-Growing" by U. P. Hedrick
His heavy jaw dropped as he gazed at my little diaphragms, the electrode.
"Astounding Stories of Super-Science, October, 1930" by Various
The diaphragm of the receiver was punctured.
"The Fifth-Dimension Tube" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
The diaphragm, or midriff, is the muscular division between the thorax and the abdomen.
"A Treatise on Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (Revised Edition)" by Calvin Cutter
The words Benk and Pawk come from his diaphragm in sullen booms.
"An Ocean Tramp" by William McFee
The iron disc, or diaphragm, is held at its edges so that it cannot move as a whole toward the magnet.
"Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son" by John Mills
In order to resist temptation, girls should be taught deep breathing, that the diaphragm and educated nerves may obey emergency orders.
"The Colored Girl Beautiful" by E. Azalia Hackley

In poetry:

When I see a couple of kids
And guess he's fucking her and she's
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise
"High Windows" by Philip Larkin
And you, our quasi Dutchman, what welcome should be yours
For all the wise prescriptions that work your laughter-cures?
"Shake before taking"?--not a bit,--the bottle-cure's a sham;
Take before shaking, and you 'll find it shakes your diaphragm.
"Post-Prandial" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

The LTC liquid diaphragm pump achieves optimal performance by incorporating several innovative features to eliminate leaking and enhance dry self-priming.
Suitable for continuous duty use, the SMF 2 pump provides long life, quiet operation, and low power consumption EPDM valve and diaphragm materials are standard, with others available to meet special application needs.
With an impressive noise level as low as 35dB(A), this quiet, UL approved dual diaphragm pump was built to exceed the strictest noise requirements including those of the medical industry.
GX-100 gauge has a diaphragm sensor to claim zero bypass of particulates, and comes standard with bottom …-in NPT connections, and a follower pointer for display of differential pressure at peak flow rates.
That sharp shooting pain above the diaphragm has subsided.
The esophagus runs through the diaphragm to the stomach.
The esophagus passes through the diaphragm just before it meets the stomach, through an opening called the esophageal hiatus.
Isolation Valves Have Inert Body and Diaphragm Materials.
The Sound Advance SA2C in-wall loudspeaker incorporates the company's Planar Diaphragm Technology.
Last week, two patients underwent surgery to receive pacers designed to send electrical impulses to the diaphragm, conditioning the muscle and improving their breathing.
Diaphragm Valves Developed for Reactive Fluids.
The Tridak Model 475 Series diaphragm valves are designed to be used with low-to-medium viscosity fluids.
Diaphragm Valves for Reactive Fluids.
The new Tridak Model 475 Series diaphragm valves are designed to be used with low-to-medium viscosity fluids.
Bauer, who has ALS , was to have surgery to get a diaphragm pacer -- an experimental device that helps lungs keep working.

In science:

In the inset we identify the metastable stalk, S1 , the transition state, S0 , between the system with no stalk at all and with this metastable stalk, and the transition state, S2 , between the metastable stalk and a hemifusion diaphragm.
Biological and synthetic membranes: What can be learned from a coarse-grained description?
The geometry of the latter configuration resembles a hemifusion diaphragm.
Biological and synthetic membranes: What can be learned from a coarse-grained description?
Lipid intermediates in membrane fusion: Formation, structure and decay of hemifusion diaphragm.
Biological and synthetic membranes: What can be learned from a coarse-grained description?
Table 3 shows the Strehl ratios, averaged over all thicknesses, for different diaphragms.
Optical Tests of a 2.5-m diameter Liquid Mirror: Behavior under External Perturbations and Scattered Light Measurements
We can see a significant increase of the Strehl ratio with decreasing diaphragm size.
Optical Tests of a 2.5-m diameter Liquid Mirror: Behavior under External Perturbations and Scattered Light Measurements