1 a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas
2 a narrow band of tissue connecting two larger parts of an anatomical structure [also: isthmi (pl)]
EtymologyLatin, from Greek ἰσθμός neck
An isthmus (, , plural isthmuses or isthmi) is a narrow strip of land that is bordered on two sides by water and connects two larger land masses. It is the inverse of a strait (which lies between two land masses and connects two larger bodies of water).
Many canals are built on isthmi where it is particularly advantageous to create a shortcut for marine transportation. Of note is the Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and drastically reduces the naval travel time between the east and west coasts of America.
List of isthmuses
- Auckland isthmus, which connects the Northland Peninsula to the rest of New Zealand's North Island.
- Seattle, Washington which lies between Lake Washington and Puget Sound.
- Isthmus of Avalon, which connects the populous Avalon Peninsula to the rest of Newfoundland.
- Catalina Isthmus, which divides Santa Catalina Island, California into a large eastern portion and a smaller western portion.
- Isthmus of Corinth, which connects the Peloponnese peninsula to the rest of Greece.
- Isthmus near Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
- Isthmus of Chignecto, which connects the Nova Scotia peninsula to the rest of Canada.
- Isthmus of Gibraltar, which joins Gibraltar to mainland Spain.
- Karelian Isthmus between Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga, which connects Russia to Finland.
- Isthmus of Kra, which joins the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia.
- Isthmus of Kushimoto in Japan - connects Honshū with Cape Shiono-Misaki.
- La Coupée isthmus in Sark.
- Madison Isthmus, between Lake Mendota and Lake Monona in Madison, Wisconsin.
- Mavis Grind isthmus in Shetland, UK.
- Isthmus of Médanos - links Venezuela to Médanos.
- Neck in Bruny Island, Tasmania - connects North and South Bruny.
- Ofqui Isthmus, Aisén Region, Chile.
- Isthmus of Panama - connects North America and South America. The Panama canal goes through this isthmus.
- Isthmus of Perekop between Crimea and Ukraine proper.
- Isthmus of Potidea, connecting the Kassandra peninsula with the mainland of Greece.
- Quezon Province, in Luzon, Philippines - connecting Bicol peninsula with mainland Luzon.
- Adam's Bridge, between India and Sri Lanka (a former Isthmus).
- Isthmus of Suez - the isthmus between North Africa and Southwest Asia, in Egypt where the Suez Canal is located.
- Isthmus of Summerside, connecting the Western section of Prince Edward Island, Canada with the remainder of the island.
- Isthmus of Tehuantepec - connects Yucatan and Central America with the rest of Mexico.
- Isthmus of Nahant connecting Nahant, Massachusetts to Massachusetts.
- Forth-Clyde isthmus in Scotland
- Tyne-Solway Isthmus in Scotland, along the Stanegate in roman times main forts at Corbridge and Carlisle
isthmus in Afrikaans: Landengte
isthmus in Arabic: برزخ (جغرافيا)
isthmus in Asturian: Istmu
isthmus in Breton: Strizh-douar
isthmus in Catalan: Istme
isthmus in Czech: Pevninská šíje
isthmus in Danish: Tange
isthmus in German: Isthmus (Geographie)
isthmus in Estonian: Maakitsus
isthmus in Modern Greek (1453-): Ισθμός
isthmus in Spanish: Istmo
isthmus in Esperanto: Istmo
isthmus in Basque: Istmo
isthmus in French: Isthme
isthmus in Galician: Istmo
isthmus in Kazakh: Мойнақ
isthmus in Korean: 지협
isthmus in Indonesian: Tanah genting
isthmus in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Isthmo
isthmus in Icelandic: Eiði
isthmus in Italian: Istmo
isthmus in Hebrew: מצר יבשה
isthmus in Kurdish: Berzax
isthmus in Lombard: Istmo
isthmus in Dutch: Landengte
isthmus in Japanese: 地峡
isthmus in Norwegian: Eid (landform)
isthmus in Norwegian Nynorsk: Landforma eid
isthmus in Polish: Przesmyk
isthmus in Portuguese: Istmo
isthmus in Romanian: Istm
isthmus in Russian: Перешеек
isthmus in Simple English: Isthmus
isthmus in Finnish: Kannas
isthmus in Swedish: Näs
isthmus in Serbian: Земљоуз
isthmus in Turkish: Kıstak
isthmus in Ukrainian: Перешийок
isthmus in Chinese: 地峡
abbreviation, astriction, astringency, bottleneck, canal, cervix, channel, circumscription, coarctation, compactedness, compaction, compression, compressure, concentration, condensation, consolidation, constriction, constringency, contraction, contracture, curtailment, decrease, defile, diminuendo, hourglass, hourglass figure, knitting, narrow, narrow place, narrowing, narrows, neck, pass, puckering, pursing, reduction, shortening, solidification, strait, stranglement, strangulation, striction, stricture, systole, throat, wasp waist, wrinkling