GC: n

S: WHO – (last access: 27 November 2014); PDF – (last access: 27 November 2014).

N: 1. c.1300, from Old French veine (vein, artery, pulse), from Latin vena (a blood vessel), also (a water course, a vein of metal, a person’s natural ability or interest), of unknown origin. The mining sense is attested in English from late 14c. Figurative sense of strain or intermixture (of some quality) is recorded from 1560s; that of a humor or mood, natural tendency is first recorded 1570s.
2. Vein, in human physiology, any of the vessels that, with four exceptions, carry oxygen-depleted blood to the right upper chamber (atrium) of the heart. The four exceptions—the pulmonary veins—transport oxygenated blood from the lungs to the left upper chamber of the heart. The oxygen-depleted blood transported by most veins is collected from the networks of microscopic vessels called capillaries by thread-sized veins called venules.
As in the arteries, the walls of veins have three layers, or coats: an inner layer, or tunica intima; a middle layer, or tunica media; and an outer layer, or tunica adventitia.
3. Collocations: tube carrying blood in the body.

  • Adj.: blue A blue vein throbbed in his forehead. | broken, thread, varicose | jugular.
  • Verb + vein: course/run along/through, flow through, pump through, race through, rush through.
  • Vein + verb: bulge, pulse, stand out, throb.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 27 November 2014). 2. EncBrit – (last access 8 December 2014). 3. (last access: 10 June 2015).


CR: aneurysm, artery, Doppler effect, Doppler ultrasound, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, thrombosis.