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n. ( pl.aortae or aortas) the main artery of the body, from which all others derive. It arises from the left ventricle (ascending aorta), arches over the top of the heart (see aortic arch) and descends in front of the backbone (descending aorta), giving off large and small branches and finally dividing to form the right and left iliac arteries. The part of the descending aorta from the aortic arch to the diaphragm is called the thoracic aorta; the part below the diaphragm is the abdominal aorta. —aorticadj.

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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