AskDefine | Define isthmus

Dictionary Definition



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)]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin, from Greek ἰσθμός neck


  • /ˈɪsməs/


  1. A narrow strip of land, bordered on two sides by water, and connecting two larger landmasses.

Derived terms


Extensive Definition

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

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

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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