Types of Nose Shapes

Updated February 21, 2017

Large-nosed comedian Jimmy Durante once commented, "My nose isn't big. I just happen to have a very small head." Noses come in all lengths, widths, shapes and types. Most human noses fit into a few simple descriptive categories.

Convex or Concave Noses

Convex noses, such as the aquiline and the "hawk nose," curve outward and are sometimes quite prominent. Concave noses have a depressed or scooped middle section and most often end in an upturned or bulblike tip.

The Ethmoid Bone

Nose shapes are primarily determined by the ethmoid bone found at the top of the nose, the nasal septum and the cartilage that causes the nose to protrude. Injury to one of these can result in a flattened "boxer's nose" or a "saddle nose."

Features of the Celestial Nose

The celestial, or turned-up, nose is extremely convex and points upward, ostensibly toward the heavens.

'Ethnic' Nose Types

"Nubian" noses once referred to people of Sudan having a broad nose and wide nostrils, while "Semitic" noses were the stereotypical version of the "hooked" nose of Semites. These nose shapes are ethnic generalisation that often have no basis in fact.

Famous Noses

Cyrano de Bergerac was a real person who had a very large nose, though probably not as large as the one depicted in the fictional account of his life. Greek philosopher Socrates was known to have a rather unattractive snub nose.

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