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Glossary

Here are the definitions of some words used in the text. Medical terms are defined only relating to humans. Words are omitted that have ambiguous or technical meanings not expressible in lay language.

acromial (acromion)
Outward end of the spine of the scapula or shoulder blade.

adipose
Consisting of, resembling, or relating to fat.

anasarca
Pronounced, generalized edema; accumulation of serous fluid in various tissues and cavities of the body.

anastomosing (anastomoses, anastomosis)
Communication between blood vessels by means of collateral channels, when usual routes are obstructed. Opening between two organs or spaces that normally are not connected.

aneurism
Localized blood-filled dilatation of a blood vessel caused by disease or weakening of the vessel's wall.

anthropotomist (anthropotomy)
One versed in human anatomy.

aorta (aortic)
Main trunk of the arterial system, conveying blood from the left ventricle of the heart to all of the body except the lungs.

apices (plural of apex)
Pointed end of an object; the tip.

aponeurosis
Sheet-like fibrous membrane, resembling a flattened tendon, that serves as a fascia to bind muscles together or as a means of connecting muscle to bone.

armamentaria
Complete equipment of a physician or medical institution, including books, supplies, and instruments.

auscultation
Listening, either directly or through a stethoscope or other instrument, to sounds within the body as a method of diagnosis.

axilla (axillary)
Armpit.

azygos
Occurring singly; not one of a pair.

bifid
Separated or cleft into two equal parts or lobes.

biliary
Relating to bile, the bile ducts, or the gallbladder; transporting bile.

bistoury
Long, narrow surgical knife for minor incisions.

bougie
Slender, flexible instrument introduced into body passages, to dilate, examine, or medicate.

brachial (brachio)
Belonging to the arm.

bubonocele
Inguinal hernia, in which the protrusion of the intestine is limited to the region of the groin.

cannula
Metal tube for insertion into the body to draw off fluid or to introduce medication.

carotid
Two large arteries, one on each side of the head.

cephalic
Relating to the head.

cervical
Pertaining to the neck.

chlorotic
Benign iron-deficiency anemia in adolescent girls, marked by a pale yellow-green complexion.

clavicle
Either of two slender bones extending from the upper part of the sternum (breastbone) to the shoulder.

coaptation
Joining together of two surfaces, such as the edges of a wound or the ends of a broken bone.

condyle
Smooth surface area at the end of a bone, forming part of a joint.

costal
Pertaining to the ribs or the upper sides of the body.

cremaster
Suspensory muscle of the testis.

crural
Relating to the leg or thigh.

director
A smoothly grooved instrument used with a knife to limit the incision of tissues.

distal
Situated away from the point of origin or attachment.

dropsy (dropsical) (edema)
Swelling from excessive accumulation of watery fluid in cells, tissues, or serous cavities

emphysema
Chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs; abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs accompanied by destruction of the tissue lining the walls of the air spaces.

emunctory
Organ or duct that removes or carries waste from the body.

epigastric (epigastrium)
Upper middle region of the abdomen.

episternal
See sternum.

esophagus
See oesophagus.

euphoneously (euphoniously)
Pleasant in sound; agreeable to the ear;

exigence
Urgency, need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance.

extravasation
Exuding or passing out of a vessel into surrounding tissues; said of blood, lymph or urine

fascia
A band of connective tissue supporting, or binding together internal organs or parts of the body.

femoral
Pertaining to, or situated at, in, or near the thigh or femur.

fistula
Abnormal duct or passage resulting from injury, disease, or a congenital disorder that connects an abscess, cavity, or hollow organ to the body surface or to another hollow organ.

foramen (foramina)
Opening, orifice, or short passage, as in a bone.

fossa (fossae)
Small cavity or depression, as in a bone.

hepatic
Pertaining to the liver.

herniae (hernia)
Protrusion of an organ or tissue through an opening in its surrounding walls, especially in the abdomen.

humerus
Bone in the arm of humans extending from the shoulder to the elbow.

hydragogue
Cathartics that aid in the removal of edematous fluids and thus promote the discharge of watery fluid from the bowels.

hydrocele
An accumulation of serous fluid, usually about the testis.

hydrops
See dropsy. Edema.

iliac artery
Common iliac artery--either of two large arteries that conduct blood to the pelvis and the legs. External iliac artery--the outer branch of an iliac artery that becomes the femoral artery. Hypogastric artery--internal iliac artery; the inner branch of an iliac artery that conducts blood to the gluteal region.

infundibuliform
Shaped like a funnel.

inguinal
Relating to, or located in the groin.

innominate
Designated parts otherwise unnamed; as, the innominate artery, a great branch of the arch of the aorta; the innominate vein, a great branch of the superior vena cava.

inosculate
Unite by openings; connect or join so as to become or make continuous, as fibers; blend, unite intimately

integument
Natural covering, coating, enclosure, etc., as a skin, shell, or rind.

laryngotomy
Cutting into the larynx, from the outside of the neck, to assist respiration, or to remove foreign bodies.

ligature
Thread or wire for constriction of blood vessels or for removing tumors by strangulation.

lithotomy
Surgery to remove one or more stones from an organ or duct.

meatus
Body opening such as the opening of the ear or the urethral canal.

metamorphosis
Profound change in form from one stage to the next, as from the caterpillar to the pupa and from the pupa to the adult butterfly.

micturition
Passing urine; urination.

nares (naris)
Nostrils or the nasal passages.

nisus
Effort or endeavor to realize an aim.

occiput
Back part of the head or skull.

oesophagus (esophagus)
Muscular membranous tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach.

osseous
Bone, bony;

palmar
Pertaining to, or located in the palm of the hand.

paracentesis
Puncture of the wall of a cavity to drain off fluid.

parietes
Wall of a body part, organ, or cavity.

parotid
Salivary gland situated at the base of each ear; near the ear.

percussion
Striking or tapping the surface the body for diagnostic or therapeutic purposes.

pericardii (pericardium)
A double membranous sac protecting the heart. The layer in contact with the heart is referred to as the visceral layer, the outer layer in contact with surrounding organs is the parietal pericardium.

peritoneum (peritonaeum)
Serous membrane that lines the walls of the abdominal cavity and folds inward to enclose the viscera.

pharynx (pharyngeal)
The cavity, with its surrounding membrane and muscles, that connects the mouth and nasal passages with the esophagus.

physiology (physiologist)
Biological study of the functions of living organisms and their parts.

platysma
Broad, thin muscle on each side of the neck, from the upper part of the shoulder to the corner of the mouth. They wrinkle the skin of the neck and depresses the corner of the mouth.

pleura
Thin serous membrane in mammals that envelops each lung and folds back to make a lining for the chest cavity.

pleuritic (pleurisy)
Inflammation of the pleura, often as a complication of a disease such as pneumonia, accompanied by accumulation of fluid in the pleural cavity, chills, fever, and painful breathing and coughing.

plexus
Network, as of nerves or blood vessels.

pneumothorax
Air or gas in the pleural cavity.

popliteal
Relating to the hollow part of the leg behind the knee joint.

probang
Long, slender, elastic rod with a sponge at the end. It is introduced into the esophagus or larynx to remove foreign bodies or introduce medication.

pudic
Pertaining to the external organs of generation.

pyriform
Shaped like a pear.

radius
Bone of the forearm on the thumb side. (See ulnar)

ramus
A branch, as of a nerve, or blood vessel.

raphe
Seamlike union between two parts or halves of an organ.

ratiocination
Logical reasoning.

sacculated
Formed with or having saclike expansions.

scirrhus
Hard dense cancerous growth usually arising from connective tissue.

septa
Thin partition dividing two cavities or soft masses of tissue.

sternum
Bones extending along the middle line of the ventral portion of the body of most vertebrates, consisting in humans of a flat, narrow bone connected with the clavicles and the true ribs; breastbone.

stricture
Abnormal narrowing of a duct or passage.

subclavian
Beneath the clavicle.

submaxillary
Pertaining to the lower jaw.

sui generis
The only example of its kind; a class of its own; unique

superficies
Outward appearance.

sutural
Junction of two bones.

symphysis
Growing together, or the fixed or nearly fixed union, of bones.

taxis
Replacing of a displaced part, or the reducing of a hernia, by manipulation without cutting.

tegument (tegumentary, integument)
Natural outer covering.

thorax (thoracic)
Trunk between the neck and the abdomen, containing the cavity enclosed by the ribs, sternum, and certain vertebrae, containing the heart, lungs, etc.; chest.

trachea (tracheal)
Tube descending from the larynx to the bronchi and carrying air to the lungs. Windpipe.

trephine (trephining)
Small circular saw with a center pin mounted on a strong hollow metal shaft, used to remove circular disks of bone from the skull.

trocar
Sharp-pointed instrument enclosed in a cannula, used for withdrawing fluid from a cavity, as the abdominal cavity.

tunica vaginalis
Pouch of serous membrane covering the testis and derived from the peritoneum.

venesection (venisection, phlebotomy)
Opening a vein by incision or puncture to remove blood as a therapeutic treatment.

viz.
Contraction of the Latin "videre licet" meaning "it is permissible to see," The -z- is not a letter, but originally a twirl, representing the symbol for the ending -et. Usually read as "namely."

ulnar
Bone of the forearm on the side opposite to the thumb. (See radius)