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Meaning of diaphragm

di•a•phragm

Pronunciation: (dī'u-fram"), [key]
— n.
    1. a muscular, membranous or ligamentous wall separating two cavities or limiting a cavity.
    2. the partition separating the thoracic cavity from the abdominal cavity in mammals.
    1. a porous plate separating two liquids, as in a galvanic cell.
    2. a semipermeable membrane.
  1. a thin disk that vibrates when receiving or producing sound waves, as in a telephone, microphone, speaker, or the like.
  2. Also calleda thin, dome-shaped device, usually of rubber, for wearing over the uterine cervix during sexual intercourse to prevent conception.
  3. a plate with a hole in the center or a ring that is placed on the axis of an optical instrument, as a camera, and that controls the amount of light entering the instrument.
  4. a plate or web for stiffening metal-framed constructions.
—v.t.
  1. to furnish with a diaphragm.
  2. to reduce the aperture of (a lens, camera, etc.) by means of a diaphragm.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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