The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the cochlea.
The middle ear contains three ossicles, which amplify vibration of the eardrum into pressure waves in the fluid in the inner ear.
The hollow space of the middle ear has also been called the tympanic cavity, or cavum tympani.
The eustachian tube joins the tympanic cavity with the nasal cavity (nasopharynx), allowing pressure to equalize between the inner ear and throat.
The function of the middle ear is to efficiently transfer sound energy from air to the liquid contained within the cochlea.
The middle ear contains three tiny bones known as the ossicles: malleus, incus, and stapes.
The ossicles were given their Latin names for their distinctive shapes; they are also referred to as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, respectively.
The ossicles directly couple sound energy from the ear drum to the oval window of the cochlea.