The aorta is a big artery — it’s the biggest one you’ve got. You have the aorta to thank for circulating oxygen-rich blood throughout your body.

The aorta is sometimes called a trunk artery. It begins at the left ventricle of your heart and runs down your abdomen, with other smaller arteries branching off throughout your body. So it sort of looks like the trunk of a tree that supports other branches. The heart pumps the blood flowing through the aorta, which is sent throughout the body. The aorta does all this work even though it’s only about a foot long and an inch in diameter.

Definitions of aorta

n the large trunk artery that carries blood from the left ventricle of the heart to branch arteries

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ascending aorta
the ascending part of the aorta as it emerges from the left ventricle
aortic arch
the part of the aorta that arches and turns downward
descending aorta
the descending part of the aorta that branches into the thoracic and abdominal aortae
abdominal aorta
a branch of the descending aorta
thoracic aorta
a branch of the descending aorta; divides into the iliac arteries
Type of:
arteria, arterial blood vessel, artery
a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body

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