Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Medical terminology is the scientific study of medical terms made up of the Latin and Greek languages and are created by using word elements such as roots, prefixes, and suffixes.  A prefix is attached to the beginning of a root or root word.  A root is the foundation of the word, and a suffix is attached to the end of the root. Let's look at the word bicostal.  The prefix bi means two, the root cost/o means rib, and the suffix -al means pertaining to.  Combine the three elements and the word means pertaining to both ribs.  Begin reading a medical term from the suffix to the root word and / or prefix. Some medical terms can be read in the opposite direction as well.


abdomen (ab duh mun, ab do mun) that part of the body that is located between the thorax (chest) and the pelvis.

abdominal (ab dom ih nl) means pertaining to the abdomen.

abnormal (ab nor mul) not normal.

abscess (ab sess) a localized accumulation of pus within a limited area.

achondroplasia ( uh kon dro pla zhuh) an inherited problem with the growth of cartilage in the long bones and skull.

acromion (uh kro me un) the outer part of the shoulder blade.

acute (uh kute) having a short and relatively severe course.

addiction (uh dik shun) the state of being given up to some habit or compulsion.

adenoidectomy (ad uh noid ek tuh me) excision or removal of the adenoids.

adenopathy (ad uh nop uh the) a growth of any gland, especially a lymph gland.

adhesion (ad he zhun) a band of scar tissue that binds two surfaces normally apart from each other.

afebrile (a feb ril) without fever.

akinesis (a kih ne sis) means absence, poverty, or lack of control of voluntary muscle movements.

ambilateral (am bih lat ur rl) pertaining to or affecting both the right and the left side.

amnion (am ne on ) is a membrane that covers the fetal side of the placenta.

amniotic ( am ne ot ik ) pertaining to or developing an amnion.

amylase (am uh laze) an enzyme that aids the breakdown of starch in digestion.

anaerobe (an uh robe) a  small organism that grows and lives in the complete or almost complete absence of free oxygen.

anaplasia (an uh pla zha) a breakdown in the structure of cells and in their relation to each other.

anaplastic (an uh plas tik) pertaining to anaplasia or reversed development; said of cells.

anastomosis (uh nas tuh mo sis) a connection between two vessels that keep up blood flow from one to the other.

anatomy (ah nat to me) is the study of the structure or parts of the body, for example, the heart, a bone, a gland, or a limb. 

anemia (uh ne me uh) a decrease in red cells in the blood.

anesthesia (an es the zhuh) loss of normal sensation, especially awareness of pain.

aneurysm (an u rizm ) a sac formed by the dilatation of the wall of an artery, a vein, or the heart.

angina (an ji nuh) any spasmodic, choking, or suffocative pain

angioplasty (an je o plas te) an angiographic procedure for elimination of areas of narrowing in blood vessels.
anion (an i on) an ion carrying a negative charge owing to surplus of electrons.

anionic (an i on ik) pertaining to or containing an ion.

anisocoria (an ih so kor e uh) means inequality in diameter of the pupils.

ankylosing spondylitis (ang kih loh sing spon dih lye tis ) inflammatory joint disease characterized by progressive stiffening of the spine caused by fusion of the vertebral bodies.

anorexia (an o rek se uh) lack or loss of the appetite for food.

antegrade (an te grade) moving or extending anteriorly.

anterior (an tier e er) situated in front of or in the forward part of an organ.

anterolateral (an ter o lat er ul) situated anteriorly and to one side.

anteromedial (an tur o me de ul) situated anteriorly and to the medial (middle) side.

anteroposterior (an tur o pos tier e ur) from front to back of the body, such as the direction of a radiograpic projection.

antibiotic (an te, an ti bi ot ik) referring to the ability to kill or prevent the growth of a living organism.

anticoagulation (an te, an ti ko ag u la shun) the prevention of coagulation.

aortic (a or tik) pertaining to the aorta.

aortobifemoral ( a or to bi fem uh rl) pertaining to the aorta and both femoral arteries.

aortocoronary (a or to kor uh nar e) pertaining to or communicating with the aorta and  coronary arteries.

aortotomy (a or tot uh me) incision of the aorta.

apex (a peks) the top, the end, or the tip of a structure

apical (ap i kl) pertaining to or located at the apex.

aplasia (uh pla zha) lack of development of an organ or tissue.

apnea ( ap ne uh) the cessation or stopping of breathing.

apneic (ap ne ik) pertaining to apnea or affected with apnea.

aponeurosis (ap o noo ro sis) is a white flattened or ribbonlike tendinous expansion, usually serving to connect a muscle with the parts that it moves.

apophyseal  (uh pof uh se ul, ap o fiz eul ) pertaining to or of the nature of an apophysis.

appendage (uh pen dj) a thing or part appended; limb.

appendectomy (ap en dek tuh me) surgical removal of the vermiform appendix.

appendicitis (uh pen dih sigh tis) means inflammation of the vermiform appendix.

ateriography (ahr tier e og ruh fe) the radiographic visualization of an artery or arteries following introduction of contrast material.

artery (ahr tuh re) a vessel through which the blood passes away from the heart to the various parts of the body.

atelectasis (at uh lek tuh sis) incomplete expansion of a lung or a portion of a lung.

atherosclerosis (ath er oh skleh roh sis ) hardening and narrowing of the arteries due to a buildup of cholesterol plaques.

atheriosclerotic (ath ur o skluh rot ik) pertaining to or affected by atherosclerosis.

atria (a tree ah) are the upper and receiving chambers of the heart.

atrial (a tre ul) pertaining to an atrium.

atriotomy (a tre ot tah me) surgical incision of an atrium of the heart.

atrophy (a truh fe) a wasting away or loss of size of a part of the body because of disease or other influences.

auscultation (aws kul ta shun) the act of listening for sounds within the body.

autogenous (aw to juh nus) related to self; originating within an organism itself.

azygos (az ih gus)  means unpaired; any unpaired part, such as azogus vein.


B-lymphocytes (lim fo sites) also known as B cells are produced in the bone marrow.  When confronted with a specific type of antigen, they are transformed into plasma cells.

bacillus (buh sil us) an organism of the genus Bacillus. Any rod-shaped bacterium.

bacteriuria (back tee ree you ree ah) is the presence of bacteria in the urine.

balanitis (bal uh ni tis) inflammation of the glans penis.

ballistocardiogram (buh lis to kakr de o gram) a recording of the vibrations of the body that are caused by the beating of the heart.

ballotable (buh lot uh bl) capable of showing ballotment.

ballottement (buh lot munt) detecting pregnancy by pushing up the fetus with fingers inserted into the vagina, causing the fetus to rise and fall.  

Bartholin's glands (bahr to lin) one of two small glands located on the wall near the opening of the vagina.

basophils (bay so fills) are granular leukocytes, white blood cells, whose function is unknown.

Bell's palsy (pawl ze) a paralysis  of the facial nerve.

benign (buh nine) not malignant, not recurrent, favorable for recovery.

benign prostatic hypertrophy (buh nine pros tat ik hi pur tro fe) enlargement of the prostate gland.

berylliosis (buhril e osis) poisoning that results from inhaling dust or vapors that contain beryllium.

bibasilar (bye base ih lir) having or affecting two bases, usually in reference to both lung bases.

biceps (bi seps) a muscle having two heads.

bicipital (bi sip i tl) pertaining to a muscle having two heads.

bifid (bi fid) cleft into two parts or branches.

bifocal (bi fo kl) 1. having two foci (fo si) 2. containing one part for near vision and another part for distant vision.

bigeminy (bijem ine) an irregular heartbeat characterized by two beats in rapid succession followed by a pause.

bilateral (bi lat ur ul) having two sides, or pertaining to both sides.

bile (bil) pronounced with a long i, a fluid secreted by the liver and poured in the small intestine via bile ducts.

biliary (bil e er e) referring to bile or to the gallbladder and its ducts, which transport bile to the duodenum.

bilirubin (bil i roo bin) the orange-yellow pigment in bile, formed mainly by the breakdown of hemoglobin in red blood cells.

bimanual (bi man u ul ) with both hands, performed by both hands.

bimaxillary (bimak siler e) referring to the right and left upper jaw (maxilla).

bioassay (bi o as a) determination of the active power of a sample drug by noting its effect on a live animal or an isolated organ preparation, as compared with the effect of a standard preparation.

Biobrane (bye o brain) trademark for a wound dressing used with burn patients.           

biopsy (bi op se) the removal and examination usually microscopic tissue from the living body.

bipolar (bi po lir) pertaining to mood disorders in which both depressive episodes and manic or hypomanic episodes occur. 

bipolar disorder a mental disorder with periods of mania and depression.

blastoma (blas to muh) a tumor of embryonic tissue that develops from the early substance (blastema) of an organ or tissue.

blepharitis (blef uh ri tis) inflammation of the eyelids.

blepharoptosis (bleph uh rop to sis) drooping of an upper eyelid due to paralysis; ptosis. 

blunt dissection (blunt dih sek shun) separating tissues along natural cleavage lines without cutting.

body cavity is a space inside the body that contains and protects the internal organs, such as the chest cavity, also called the thoracic cavity, that protects the heart and the lungs.

bolus (bo lus) a rounded mass of food or a pharmaceutical preparation ready to swallow, or such a mass passing through the gastrointestinal tract.

bone rasp surgical instrument used to file bony tissue.

borborygmus (bor buh rig mus) a rumbling noise  caused by the propulsion of gas through the intestines.

botulism (bot you lizm) an often malignant form of food poisoning, is caused by eating food contaminated by Clostridium botulinum.

bougie (boo zhe) a slender, hollow flexible cylindrical tube for introduction into the urethra (or other tubular organ) 

Bovie cautery (bo ve kaw tur e) is a surgical treatment done by a device called bovie.

brachial (brae ke ul) pronounced with a long a means referring to the arm.

brachiocephalic (brake e osuhfalik) relating to the arm and head.

brachioradialis (brake eo ra de alis) a muscle of the arm.

brachyesophagus (brae ke uh sof uh gus) abnormal shortness of the esophagus.

bradycardia (bray de kahr de uh) slowness of the heartbeat.

breech presentation is when the buttocks or feet of the fetus are presented first.

bregma (breg muh) the joining of the frontal and roof (parietal ) bones on the top of the skull.

bronchorrhea (brong ko re uh) excessive discharge of mucus from the bronchi. 

bronchoscopy (brongkos kuh pe) an examination of the bronchial tree.

bronchus (brong kuss) any one of several large air passages in the lungs through which breathed-in air and breathe-out waste gases pass.

brucellosis (broo suhlo sis) is a disease caused by any of several species of Brucella bacteria, mainly a disease of livestock. Humans usually get it by drinking infected milk or milk products or through a break in the skin.

bruit (brew e) an abnormal sound heard by the physician while listening to an organ or gland, such as the liver or thyroid.

buccal ( buk ul) pronounced with a long u, pertaining to or directed toward the cheek.

buccolabial (buk o la be ul ) pertaining to the cheek and the lip.

bulla (bull ah) is a large vesicle or blister.

bundle branch block also known as a heart block is an interference with the normal travel of electric impulses that control activity of the heart muscle.

bunion (bun yun) an abnormal swelling of the joint at the base of the big toe.

bursa (bir suh) pronounced as in bird, one of the many closed sacs in the connecting tissue between the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones.

bursitis (bir sigh tis) an inflammation of the bursa, the connective tissue structure surrounding a joint.

bypass (bye pass) any one of many types of surgery to move the flow of blood or other fluids from their normal courses.  

byssinosis (biss ih no sis) also known as brown lung disease, is caused by cotton, flax, or hemp dust in the lungs.


callus (kal us) a common, usually painless thickening of the skin at locations of pressure or friction.

cananiculi (kan uh lic u li) These are narrow channels through which mature bone cells called
osteocytes (os teo sites)  extend.

cancellous bone (kan sl us) also called spongy bone is a light-weight bone, mainly bone tissue, commonly  found in  long bones, such as the femur.

cancer (kan sir)  This word is a general term for a malignant tumor or for forms of new tissue cells that lack a controlled growth pattern.

carcinoma (kahr sih no muh) is a tumor that is cancerous.

cardiac (kahr de ak) referring to the heart.

cardiac arrest is the sudden stopping of the heart.

cardiology (kahr de ol uh ge) is the scientific study of the heart and how it functions.

cardiomegaly (kar dee oh meg ah lee) is an enlargement of the heart.

cardiovascular (kahr de o vas ku ler) means pertaining to the heart and blood vessels.

carotid (kuh rot id) means pertaining to the principal artery of the neck.

cartilage (kahr tih lj) is a tissue that connects and supports, is made of cells and fibers, found mainly in the joints, the chest, and stiff tubes of all types, as the voicebox (larynx), windpipe (trachea), nose and ear.

caudal (kaw dl) This is a body direction, and it means toward the tail or lower part of the body.

cecum  (se kum) the first part of  the large intestine.

cell  the basic unit of all living tissue.

cell membrane is the structure surrounding and protecting the cell.

cephalic (seh fal ick) This is another body direction which means toward the head.

cervical (sir vi kl) pertaining to the neck or cervix of any organ or part of the body.

cervix (sir viks) the part of the uterus that protrudes into the cavity of the vagina.

cesarean section (suh zar e un) a surgical procedure in which an incision is made through the abdominal and uterine walls for delivery of a fetus.

cheiloschisis (ki los kih sis) cleft lip.

chemoneucleolysis (ke mo noo kle ol un sis) a method of dissolving the cartilage between the vertebrae of the spine (intervertebral disk) by injecting a substance, such as chymopapain.

chondromalacia (kon dro ma lay she ah) is abnormal softening of the cartilage.

chondropathy (kon drop uh the) a disease of cartilage.

chondroplasty (kon dro plas tee) is the surgical repair of cartilage.

chromosome (kroh moh sohme) any one of the threadlike structures in the center of a cell (nucleus) that carries genetic information.

chronic (kron ik) persisting over a long period of time, such as chronic bronchitis.

cicatrix (sik a triks, sik  uh triks) is pale, tight, firm scar tissue that becomes red and soft as the skin begins to heal.

cilia (sil e uh) eyelashes; the hairs growing on the edges of the eyelids.

circumscribed (ser kum skryebd) means contained within a limited area.

cirrhosis (sih ro sis) a long-term disease of the liver in which the liver becomes covered with fiberlike tissue.

cholecystitis (ko luh sis tie tis) inflammation of the gallbladder.

cholelithiasis (ko luh lih thy uh sis) the presence of gallstones in the gallbladder.

claudication (klaw di ka shun) a pain of the legs with cramps in the calves caused by poor circulation of blood in the legs.

clavicle (klav i kl) the collarbone.

clonus (klo nus) abnormal activity of the nerves sending signals to the muscles.

Clostridium (klos trid e um) a genus of bacteria of the family Bacillaceae (bas ih la se e).

coccygeal (koksij e ul) means pertaining to or located in the region of the coccyx.

coccyx (kok sils) a triangular bone at the lower end of the spinal column.  It is made up of several bones fused together, and it resembles the bill of a cuckoo.

colitis (ko li tis) inflammation of the colon.

collateral ligament (ko lat er ul) a ligament that is not direct but a supporting ligament.

colostomy (koh lahs toh me) is surgically creating an opening between the colon and body surface.

colotomy  (koh lot oh me) is a surgical incision into the colon.

common bile duct  the duct formed by the joining of the gallbladder duct and liver duct.

compact bone is hard, dense, very strong bone that forms the outer covering of bone and is found just under the periosteum (per e os te um).

contraceptive (kon truh sep tiv) any device or technique that prevents pregnancy.

contrecoup (kon truh koo) an injury resulting from a blow on another site, especially the brain, such as a fracture, by contrecoup of the skull or a contrecoup contusion.

contusion (kon too zhun) is a bruising injury that does not break the skin.

coracoid (kor uh koid) a ligament shaped like a raven's beak.

coronal (kor un nl) this term means pertaining to the crown of the head, the crown of a tooth or any other corona.

cortex (kor teks) the outer layer of a body organ or structure.

cortical bone (kor ti kl) ,also known as compact bone, is the outer covering of bone.

costal (kos tl) pertaining to a rib or ribs.

costovertebral (kos to ver tuh brl) pertaining to a rib and a vertebra. A vertebra is a bone of the spinal column.

cranial cavity (kra ne ul) This cavity contains the brain.

craniectomy (kra ne ek tuh me) surgical removal of part of the skull.

cranioplasty (kra ne o plas te) any plastic operation on the skull; surgical correction of defects of the skull.

craniotomy (kra ne ot uh me) any operation on the cranium; incision into the cranium.

crepitation  (krep i tae shun) is the crackling sensation that is felt and heard when the ends of a broken bone move together.

cutaneous (ku ta ne us) means pertaining to the skin.

cytoplasm (sigh toh plazm) is the material located within the cell membrane that is not part of the nucleus.



dactyl (dak tl) a digit (finger or toe)

decubitus (dik yoo bitus) a reclining or flat position, such as lying on one side.

defibrillation (de fib ri la shun) the process of stopping very rapid contractions of the heart (fibrillation) by delivering a direct  electric shock to the patient's heart with a device called a defibrillator.

deficiency (de fish uns see) means a lack or defect.  Many diseases are the result of a lack of some vital chemical substance or compound.

degenerative (de jen ur uh tiv) means pertaining to deterioration.

degenerative joint disease joint disease which is characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage.

dehiscence (dehis uns) the separation of a surgical cut (incision).  Dehiscence may also refer to the splitting open of a closed wound.

dehydration the large loss of water from the body tissues.

deltoid (del toid) triangular in shape, such as the deltoid muscle.

dementia (dimen shuh) a disorder in which mental functions break down.

demyelination (de mi ih lin a shun) destruction, removal, or loss of the myelin sheath of a nerve or nerves.

dental caries (kar ez, kar e ez) these are holes made in tooth enamel often called cavities or tooth decay.

deossification (de os ih fih ka shun) the loss of mineral matter from bone.

descemet (de suh may) a membrane of the eye.

desiccation (des ih ka shun) the act of drying up.

desmosis (dez mo sis, des mo sis) any disease of the connective tissue.

desquamation (des kwuh may shun) shedding skin or other tissues in scales or sheets.

detrusor (de troo ser) a general term for a body part that pushes down.

deutoplasm (doo toe plaz um, doo tuh plaz um) also called deuteroplasm (doo ter o plaz um) the parts of the yolk that store nutrition.

developmental  is a type of disease which occurs as a result of some abnormality in the development of tissue, an organ, or body part.

developmental anomaly (uh nom uh le) refers to any birth defect that results when the normal growth of the fetus is disturbed.  Such defects can occur at any stage of development.

deviated (dee vee a ted) septum is a condition in which the center section (septum of the nose) shifts to one side.

diabetic retinopathy (ret ih nop ah the) a disorder of broken blood vessels in the retina of the eye.

diagnosis (dye ag no sis, pl ses,seez) is the process of determining the cause of a disease. 

diaphysis (di af uh sis) the shaft of a long bone.

diaphragm (dia fram) a major respiratory muscle.

diastolic (di uh stol ik) referring to the blood pressure at the moment when the heart is most relaxed (diastole).
Dick test is a skin test for determining the lack of ability to resist scarlet fever.

differential absorption (in radiology) the difference between x-rays that are absorbed by body tissue and those that are not.  Differential absorption results in the image on the x-ray film.

differential diagnosis attempts to determine which one of several diseases may be producing the symptoms.
digitalis (dij i tal is) a drug that stimulated the heart.  It is used to treat heart failure and certain forms of irregular heartbeats.

dilator (di lay ter) a device used to widen a body opening or cavity.

dilatation (dil uh ta shun) normal increase in the size of a body opening, blood vessel, or tube. Example, the widening of the pupil of the eye in dim light.

diplopia (diplo pe ah) double vision that might be caused by defective muscles or it might be due to a disorder of the nerves that signal the muscles.

diphtheria (dif theer e ah) a serious contagious disease.  It produces a toxin throughout the body and a false membrane lining of the throat.  The poison is very harmful to the tissues of the heart and central nervous system.
disabling (dis a bling) a disease which causes impairment of normal functions, such as sight, hearing, mobility, or breathing.

disease  is a condition of abnormal function involving any structure, part, or system of an organism.

disk also spelled disc. A flat, round platelike part, as a joint (articular) disk or an optic disc.  A term for the cartilage between the backbones).

diskectomy (dis kek tuh me) excision or removal of an intervertebral disk.

dislocation is the displacement of any part, more especially of a bone.

disorder the disturbance or hindering of normal function or established systems, as with a mental disorder or nutritional disorder.

distention (dis ten shun) bloating or enlargement.

Dobbhoff (dub hof or doob hof) is a feeding tube.

dorsal (door sl) pertaining to the back of the body or the back part of an organ.

dorsalis pedis pulse (dor sa lis ped is) a common pulse taken at the back of the foot.

dorsal recumbent position the patient is supine (soo pine) with the knees bent.

duodenum (doo o de num, doo od uh num) is the first or proximal  portion of the small intestine, extending from the pylorus (pi lor us) to the jejunum (je joo num).

dura mater is the thick, tough outermost membraneof the meninges (meh nin jeez).

dyschromia  (dis krome yuh) any disorder of pigmentation of the skin or hair.

dysdiadochokinesia (dis di ad o ko kih ne zhuh) the impaired ability to stop one motor function and perform the opposite motor function (rapid alternating movements).

dyslexia (dis lek se ah) a hindrance of the ability to read due to a variety of disorders.

dysmenorrhea (dis men oh re ah) a difficult or painful mothly flow.

dyspareunia (dis pa roo ne ah) difficult or painful intercourse.

dyspepsia (dis pep se ah) a vague feeling of discomfort under the breastbone after eating.

dysphonia (dis fone e ah) any impairment of voice, a difficulty in speaking.

dysraphia (dis ra fe uh) a defective or incomplete fusion of a raphe, or neural tube, also called dysraphism.

dystaxia (dis tak se uh) difficulty in controlling voluntary movements, partial dystaxia.

dysthyroidism (dis thigh roid iz um) imperfect development of function of the thyroid gland.

dystonia (dis to ne uh) an impairment of muscle tone, often affecting the head, neck, and tongue.

dystrophy (dis truh fe) any abnormal condition caused by defective nutrition.


ecchymosis (ek ih mo sis) a small blue purplish spot on the skin; a bruise.

edema (uh de muh) the presence of abnormally large amounts of fluid in tissues.

eclampsia (uh klamp se uh, iklamp se uh) the gravest form of poisoning of pregnancy, marked by grand mal convulsion, coma, high blood pressure, water retention, and protein in the urine.

ectropion (ek tro pe on) turning outward of an edge (eversion).  The term usually referring to the eyelid, in which the lining is exposed.

eczema (ek zuh ma) a common inflammation of the skin.

effacement (uh face munt) the elimination of the cervix during labor, leaving only a thin external os.

effusion (uh fu zhun) the escape of fluid from blood vessels because of a break or leaking, usually into a body hollow.

ejection fraction  the ration of blood left in the ventricles after diastole which is then ejected during systole.

electrocautery (e lek tro kaw tur e) is the placing of a needle that is heated by electric current on tissue.

electroencephalography (e lek tro un sef uh log ruh fe) the recording of the electric currents developed in the brain.
electrolyte (e lek tro lite) an element or compound that when melted or dissolved in water or other solvent, break up into ions (atoms able to carry an electric charge.

embolism (em buh liz um) a defect in which a clot (embolus) travels through the bloodstream and becomes lodged in a blood vessel, usually in the heart, lungs, or brain.

embolus (em buh lus) a foreign object such as a large bubble of air or gas, a bit of tissue or tumor, or a piece of blood clot that travel throgh the bloodstream until it becomes lodged in a vessel.

embryo (em bre o) in humans the stage of growth between the time the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterus, which occurs about 2 weeks after conception until the end of the seventh or eighth week of pregnancy.

emesis (em uh sis) vomiting.

emetic  (uh me tik) bring on or causing the act of vomiting.

emmetropia (em uh tro pe uh) the state of normal (20/20) vision.

empyema  (em pi e muh) is pus in a body cavity.

endemic (en dem  ik) present or usually prevalent in a population or geographical area at all times; said of a disease or agent.

endentulous (e den tu lus) without teeth; having lost some or all natural teeth.

endocarditis (en do kahr dye tis) a defect in which the lining of the heart (endocardium) and the heart valves become inflamed.

endocrinologist ( en do krih nol uh jist) a specialist in endocrinology.

endoscopy (en dos kuh pe) visual examination of any cavity of the body by means of an endoscope.

endosteum (en dos te um) the tissue lining the medullary cavity of a bone.

enteritis (en tur i tis) inflammation of the intestine, usually referring only to the small intestine.

Enterobacteriaceae (en tur o bak te re ah se e) a family ofbacteria that includes both harmless and harmful organisms.
entropion (en tro pe on) the turning inward (inversion) of an edge or margin, as of the margin of the eyelid.

enuresis (en ur re sis) urinary incontinence after the age at which urinary control should have been achieved

epicondylitis (epi kon duh lye tis) inflammation of the epicondyle or of the tissues adjoining the epicondyle of the humerus.

epididymis (ep ih did uh mis) a cordlike structure in the testis.

epiglottis (ep ih glot tis) a lid-like structure made up of cartilage which hangs over the entrance to the larynx to prevent food from entering the larynx or trachea upon swallowing

epinephrine (ep ih nef rin) adrenaline; a vasoconstrictor usually designated as a ratio: 1:100,000.

epistaxis (ep ih stak sis) hemorrhage from the nose; also called a nosebleed and nasal hemorrhage.

epithelial (ep ih the le ul) pertaining to or composed of epithelium.

epithelium (ep ih the le um) the coveing of the internal and external surfaces of the body.

eponychium (ep po nik e um) , also known as the cuticle, is a narrow band of epidermis attached to the surface of the nail in front of the root.

eructation (uh ruk tae shun) the casting up of wind from the stomach through the mouth.

erythema  (er uh the ma) redness of the skin.

erythrocytosis (eh rith roh sigh toh sis) is an increase in the number of erythrocytes in proportion to the number of other blood cells.

erythropoiesis (uh rith ro poi e sis) the production of red blood cells.

eschar (es kahr) slough produced by a burn, corrosive agent, or gangrene.

Escherichia coli (esh uh rik e uh  ko lye) a bacteria found in the intestines of humans and other mammals.

esophagitis (uh sof uh jie tis) inflammation of the esophagus.

esophagus, ( uh sof uh gus) also known as the gullet, is a collapsible tube that leads from the pharynx to the stomach.

esophageal (e sof uh jeel) means pertaining to the esophagus.

esotropia (es oh troh pe ah) an inward deviation of one eye in relation to the other eye and is called divergent or external strabismus (strubiz mus) an abnormal condition in which the eyes do not move together or are "crossed".

essential  this term is assigned to diseases for which the cause is unknown.  It is assumed that it arises spontaneously, such as essential hypertension.

estrogen is one of a group of hormonal steroid compounds that aid the development of female secondary sex traits (such as breast development).  Human estrogen is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, testicles, and both the fetus and placenta.

Ethibond  (eth ih bond) a type of suture or stitch.

ethmoid bone (eth moid) is the very light and spongy bone at the base of the skull that forms most of the walls of the upper part of the nasal cavity.

euthymic  (u thi mik) is a general term used to describe normal mental status.

euthyroidism (yoo thigh roid izm) is a condition of normal thyroid function.

exacerbation (eg zas ur ba shun) flareup or worsening of a disease or any symptom of a disease.

exophthalmia (ek solfthal me uh) an abnormal condition with a bulging of the eyeballs.

exophthalmos (ek sof thal mos) abnormal protrusion of the eyeball also called proptosis (pro toe sis).

expiration means breathing out.

exstrophy (ek stro fe) the turning inside out of an organ.

extensor digitorum longus  (ek sten sur  dij ih tor um  long us) a muscle shaped like a feather situated at the lateral part of the front of the leg.

extenser hallucis longus (ek sten sur   hal u sis  long us) the long muscle responsible for movement of the big toe.

extenser retinaculum (ek sten sur  ret ih nak u lum) either of two fibrous bands of fascia crossing the front of the ankle.
external means situated or occurring on the outside.

extracorporeal (eks truh kor por e ul) means situated or occurring outside of the body.


fabella (fuh bel uh) a sesamoid fibrocartilage sometimes found on the gastrocnemius muscle.

fainting, also called syncope (sin ko pe), is the brief loss of consciousness caused by transient cerebral hypoxia (hi pock see uh).

fallopian tubes (fal loh pe an) also known as oviducts or uterine tubes are ducts that extend from the upper end of the uterus to a point near but not attached to each ovary.

fascia (fash e ah) fiberlike connective tissue that may be separated from other structures, as  the tendons and the ligaments.

fascioplasty (fash e o plas te) a plastic operation on  fascia.

fasciorrhaphy (fash e or uh fe) suture of  lacerated fascia.

fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels refers to the amount of sugar in the blood after the patient has fasted for several hours.

febrile (feb ril) means pertaining to fever.

feces (fe seez) the excrement discharged from the intestines.

feculent (fek u lunt) having dregs or a sediment.; fecal.

feminism also known as effemination (uh fem ih nay shun) is the production of secondary female characteristics in a male.

femoral neck (fem or al) is the narrow area just below the head of the femur.

femur (fee mur) the bone that extends from the pelvis to the knee, being the longest and largest bone in the body.

fenestration (fen uh stray shun) the presence of perforations or windows.

ferrous (fur us) containing iron in its plus-two oxidation state; Fe (II) (sometimes designated Fe2+).

fertilization is the union of ovum and sperm.

fetid (fe tid) having a rank or disagreeable smell.

fetogram (fe to gram) the resulting film or record of the fetus.

fetus (fee tus) the human child in the uterus following the period as an embryo.

fibrillation (fih brilay shun) involuntary contractions of a single muscle fiber or of an isolated group of nerve fibers. 

fibrinogen (fibrin uhjen) a protein in the blood clotting process that is converted into protein (fibrin) by thrombin when calcium is present.  Also called factor I.

fibroma (fi bro ma) also known as a fibroid is a tumor composed chiefly of fibrous or fully developed connective tissue.

fibrositis (fi bro sigh tis) an inflammation of fiberlike connective tissue.

fibula (fib u la) the outer and smaller of the two bones of the leg.

filtration (fil tray shun) the passage of a liquid or gas through a filter.

fimbriae tubae (fim bree ee too bee plural) is the branched fingerlike border at the end of each of the fallopian tubes. The fimbriae have hairlike fibers (cilia) that move the egg (ovum) toward the uterus.

fingerstick, also known as a capillary (kap ih lair e) puncture, is the technique used when only a small amount of blood is needed as a specimen for a blood test.

fissures, also known as sulci (sul sigh) are the normal depressions or grooves of the cerebral cortex. 

fistula (fis tu lah) an abnormal passage from an internal organ to the body surface or between two internal organs.

flatus (flay tus) gas or air in the gastrointestinal tract.

flexion (flek shun) means decreasing the angle between two bones or bending a limb at a joint.

flexor is a muscle that bends a limb at a joint.

fluoroscopy (floo ros kuh pe) examination by means of the fluoroscope.

flutter is a rapid vibration that may interfere with normal function.

folate (fo late) the anionic form of folic acid.

folic acid (foe lik, fol ik) a vitamin of the B complex group that can be dissolved in water.

follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) a hormone that stimulates secretion or estrogen, growth of ova (eggs) in the ovaries, and production of sperm in the testes.

fontanelle (fon tuh nel) a space betweenthe bones of an infant's skull covered by tough membranes.

foramen (fo ray mun) a natural opening or passage.

fossa (fos ah) a trench, channel or hollow place.

fourchette (foor shet) is a labial piercing done at the rear rim of the vaginia.

fovea centralis (foh vee ah cen trah lis) is a pit located within the macula lutea.  This area of the retina is the section of sharpest vision.

fraternal twins result from the fertilization of separate ova by separate sperm cells.

frenectomy (free nek toh me) is the surgical freeing of the frenum.

frenulum (fren u lum) a general term for a membrane that curbs or limits the movement of an organ or part.

frenum (free num) is a narrow band of tissue that connects two structures.

friable (fry uh bl) crumbled or easily reduced into dust or powder by pounding.

frontal (frun tl) pertaining to the forehead.

frontalis (frun tal is) a general term indicating a connection to the frontal or coronal planes.

frontoethmoidal (frun toe eth moi dl) pertaining to the frontal and ethmoid bone of the skull.

frontonasal (frun toe nay zl) pertaining to the nose or other parts of the nose and the forehead or the frontal bone.
frontoparietal (frun toe puh rye uh tl) pertaining to the frontal and parietal bones.

fulgurate (ful gu rate) to come and go like a flash of light.

functional  of or pertaining to a function.

fundoplication (fun doe plih kay shun) plication of the fundus of the stomach around the lower end of the esophagus, done to treat reflux esophagitis that might  be associated with disorders such as hiatal hernia.

fungating (fun gate ing) producing funguslike growths.

funguria (fun gu ree ah) urine containing fungi.

fungus  is a simple parasitic plant.  Some fungi (fun ji) are pathogenic (patho jen ik).

furuncle (fyoor ungkul, fu rung kl) a boil or a pus-making skin infection in a gland or hair gland (follicle).

fusiform (fu zi form) means shaped like a spindle; tapered at each end.


gadolinium (gad o lin e um) is a silvery-white chemical element with the symbol Gd and atomic number 64. It is also a malleable and ductile rare-earth metal that is found in nature in combine (salt) form only.

galactocele (guh lak toe seel) a fluid-filled sac caused by blockage of a milk duct in the breast.

galactorrhea (guh lak toe re uh) milk flow not related to child birth or nursing.  The condition may be a symptom of a pituitary gland tumor.

gamete (gam eat) the egg or sperm

gammopathy (gam op uh the) a condition characterized by disturbed immunoglobin synthesis.

gangliolysis (gang gle all lih sis) the destruction or breaking up of a ganglion.

ganglion (gang glee on) a knot or knotlike mass.

gangrene (gang green) dead tissue that is usually associated with a loss of circulation.

gastralgia (gas traljee ah) means stomach pain.

gastroenteritis (gas tro en tur eye tis) inflammation of the stomach and intestines that comes with many diseases.

gastropexy (gas tro ped se) surgical fixation of the stomach to prevent displacement.

gastrorrhagia (gas tro raw ja) bleeding or hemorrhage from the stomach.

gastrosis (gas troh sis) means any stomach disease.

geniculate (juh nik u late) bent, like a knee.

genitourinary (jen ih toe ur rih nair e) pertaining to the genital and urinary organs.

gerontologist (jer on tol uh jist) a specialist in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders and problems associated with aging.

giardiasis (je ahr di uh sis) a common infection of the human small intestine with the protozoan
(pro toe zo un) Giardia lamblia, contracted via tainted food or water or by direct person to person contact.

gigahertz (gig a hertz) is a unit of alternating current or electromagnetic wave fequency equal to one thousand million hertz.

gigantism (jigan tizum) an abnormal condition characterized by excess height and weight.

gingiva (jinji vuh) the gum of the mouth, a mucous membrane and its supporting fiberlike tissue that circles the necks of teeth.

glabella (gluhbul a) a flat triangular area of bone of the head, sometimes used as a baseline for head measurements.

glans penis  the cone-shaped tip of the penis that covers the end of the corpora cavernosa penis and the corpus spongiosum like a cap.

glaucoma (glaw koh mah) an abnormal condition of high pressure within the eye.

glenohumeral (gle no hu mur rl) pertaining to the glenoid cavity and the humerus.

glial cells (gli ul) also known as neuroglia (new rog lee ah) are the supportiveand connective cells of the nervous system.

globus (glow bus) a general term indicating a spherical structure.

glomerulonephritis (glo mer u lo nuh fri tis) an inflammation of the waste product filter (glomerulus) of the kidney.

glomerulus (glo mer u lus) is a netlike structures composed of blood vessels or nerve fibers, as a kidney glomerulus.

glossoepiglotic (glos o ep ih glot ik) also known as glossoepiglottidean (glos o ep ih glaw tid e an) means pertaining to the tongue and epiglottis.

glossorrhaphy (glos or uh fe) suture of the tongue.

glottis (glot is) the vocal apparatus of the larynx consisting of the vocal bands also referred to as the vocal cords and the space between them.
glucagon (gloo kuh gon) a hormone produced in the islets of Langerhans.

gluteus (gloo te us) maximus is the largest muscle of the buttock, while the gluteus minimus is the smallest muscle of the buttock.

glycemia (glye se me ah) is glucose present in the blood.

glycosuria (glye koh soo ree ah) means there is sugar present in the urine.

gnathalgia (nath al juh) means pain in the jaw.

goiter (goi ter) also known as thyromegaly (thigh row meg uh lee) is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland causing a swelling in the front part of the neck.

gonadotrophic hormone (gon ah doh troph ik) is any hormone that stimulates the gonads.

gonads (go nads) glands that release gametes, as an ovary or testis.

goniolens (go nee o lens) is a contact lens placed on the eye to allow direct or indirect visual examination of the interior of the iridocorneal angle or the eye.

gonioscopy (goh nee os  koh pe) the visual examination of the angle of the anterior chamber of the eye using a gonioscope.

goniosynechia (go ne o suh nek e uh) adhesion of the iris to the posterior surface of the cornea in the angle of the anterior chamber of the eye.

gonitis (go ni tis) inflammation of the knee.

gonorrhea (gon no ree uh) is a highly contagious veneral disease caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae. (ni se re ah  gon o ree eye  or  gon o ree e)

graafian follicles (graf ee an  fol lick kulz) are thousands of small sacs of the ovaries each containing a single ovum or egg.

gracilis (gras silis) it is the most superficial muscle on the medial side of the thigh.

gradient (gray dee unt) a part sloping upward or downward.

graft also to transplant means to transfer an organ or tissue from one person to another or from one body part to another in oder to replace a diseased structure, to restore function , or to change appearance.

granulocytes (gran yuhluhsites) a white blood cell (leukocyte lou ko site) containing granule in the cytoplasm.

granuloma (gran yuhloma) a tumor of the pink (granulation) tissue that forms during wound healing.

Grave's disease  a disorder of excess thyroid hormone production.  It is usually linked to an enlarged thyroid gland and bulging eyes.

gravid (grav id) means pregnant.

gravida (grav i duh) is a woman who is pregnant.  A woman who is pregnant  for the first time is called gravida l.  If she is pregnant for the second time she is called gravida ll

greenstick fracture  a break in which the bone is bent but not broken, only on the outside of the bend.  Children are most likely to have greenstick fractures.

guaiac (gwi uk) used as a reagent in tests for occult or hidden blood, usually in the stool.

gubernaculum (goo bur nak yuh lum) a fibrous cord connecting two structures.

guillotine (ge o teen) an instrument for surgically cutting into a tonsil or the uvula (u vu lah).

gynecomastia (guy nuh ko mas te ah) an abnormal swelling of one or both breasts in men.

gyri (jigh rye) the elevated portions or convolutions of the cerebral cortex.

gyrus (ji rus) one of the spiral twists of the surface of the brain caused by the folding in of the outer layer.


hallucination (huh loo sih nay shun) something sensed that is not caused by an outside event.

hamartoma (ham ahr toe muh) a benign tumorlike nodule made up of an overgrowth of mature cells and tissues that normally occur in the affected part.

hamulus (ham yuh lus) a small hook or hooklike process, especially at the end of a bone.

haustral (haw strl) means pertaining to sacculations or pouches of the colon.

hedonia (he don ne a) the feeling of pleasure.

hemangioma (he man gee o ma) a tumor that is harmless and is made up of a mass of blood vessels.

hemarthrosis (he mahr thro sis) an escape of blood into the tissues, such as a joint or its synovial cavity.

hematemesis (he muh tem uh sis) the vomiting of blood.

hematochezia ( he muh toe, hem uh toe key zee uh) is the passage of bloody stools.

hematocrit (he mat uh krit) a measure of the number of cells found in the blood; blood count.

hematoma (he muh toe muh) a localized collection of blood usually clotted, in an organ, space, or tissue, usually due to a break in the wall of a blood vessel.

hematuria (he muh, hem uh tu re ah) means blood in the urine.

heme  (heem) the colored, nonprotein part of the hemoglobin molecule in the blood that contains iron.

hemiplegia (hem e ple juh) paralysis of one side of the body.

hemithorax (hem e thor aks) means one side of the chest.

hemoccult (he mo kult) a stool guaiac test one of a number of methods for detecting the presence of fecal occult blood.
hemodynamic (he mo die nam ik) pertaining to the movements involved in the circulation of the blood.

hemoglobin (he mo glo bin) the red oxygen-carrying pigment of erythrocytes.

hemolytic (he mo lit ik) pertaining to, characterized by, or producing hemolysis.

hemophilia (he moh fill ee ah) is a group of hereditary bleeding disorders in which there is a lack of one of the factors needed to clot the blood.

hemophilic (he mo fil ik) having an affinity for blood; living in blood.

Hemophilus influenzae (he mof ih lus in floo en zee) is a germ found in the throats of 30% of healthy, normal  people, also spelled Haemophilus

hemostasis (he mo sta sis) arrest of bleeding by mechanic or chemical means or by the clotting process of the body.
hemovac ( he mo vac) this is a drain used during surgery.

hepatitis (hep uh tie tis) is inflammation of the liver.

hepatojugular (hep uh toe jug u ler) reflux is a backward or return flow; causing distention of the jugular vein induced by pressure over the liver.

hepatorrhea (hep uh toe re uh) means any morbid flow from the liver.

hepatotomy (hep uh tot uh me) means surgical incision of the liver.

herniated nucleus pulposus (her ne a tud  noo kle us  pul po sus) rupture or prolapse, especially herniation of the spine.

heterophoria (het er o for e uh) failure of the visual axes to remain parallel after visual stimuli are removed.

hidrosis (high dro sis) means sweating.

hirsutism (her soot iz um) means abnormal hairiness, especially an adult male pattern of hair distribution in women.
histamine (his tuh min, meen) a compound, found in all cells,produced by the breakdown of histidine.

histiocyte (his te o site) are macrophage (mac ruh faje) or any large cell that can surround and digest foreign substances in the body, as protozoa or bacteria.

homeostasis (ho me o stay sis) is the process of maintaining the constant internal environment of the body. 

homonymous hemianopsia (ho mon ih mus  hemi un op se ah) defective vision or blindness affecting the right halves or the left halves of the vision field of both eyes.

hordeolum (hor de o lum), also known as a sty, is a pus-forming infection on the edge of the eyelid formed in the root of an eyelash.

hormone is a chemical substance that regulates the activity of certain cells and organs of the body.

human chorionic gonadotropin (hu man  kor e on ik go nuh do tro pin) HCG is secreted by the placenta that is formed after pregnancy has occurred.  This hormone stimulates the ovary to continue producing progesterone and estrogen to maintain the pregnancy.

humor is any clear body liquid or semisolid substance.

hydradenitis (hi druh den eye tis), also spelled hidradenitis, is inflammation of a sweat gland, usually of the apocrine (ap o krin) type.

hydrocele (high dro seal) a buildup of fluid in any saclike cavity or duct, specifically in the membrane surrounding the testicles or along the spermatic cord.

hydrocephalus (high dro sef uh lus) a disorder in which an abnormal amount of spinal fluid, usually under high pressure, in the head causes widening of the brain ventricles.

hymen (high men) is a membranous fold of tissue that partly or completely covers the external vaginal orifice.

hymenectomy (high men ek toe me) surgical removal of the hymen.

hypercrinism (hi pur kry nizum) is a condition due to excess secretion of any gland, especially an endocrine gland.

hyperemia (hi pur e me ah) an increase of blood in a part of the body.

hyperesthesias (hi per es the zhus) is a painful sensation from a normally painless touch stimulus.

hyperglycemia (high per gly se me ah) abnormally increased glucose or sugar in the blood, such as diabetes mellitus.

hypergonadism (hi per go nad iz um) a condition caused by excessive secretion of gonadal (sex) hormones.

hyperhidrosis (hi per hi dro sis) means excessive sweating.

hypertension (hi pur ten shun) is high arterial blood pressure.

hyperventilation (hi pur ven tih lay shun) is a state in which there is an increased amount of air entering the pulmonary alveoli ( increased alveolar ventilation).

hypokinesia (hi po kih ne zhuh) means abnormally decreased mobility.

hypoperfusion (hi po pur fu zhun) means decreased perfusion of blood through an organ.

hypoplasia (hi po play zhuh) is the incomplete development or underdevelopment of an organ or tissue.

hypopnea (hi pop ne ah) an abnormal decrease in depth and rate of breathing.

hypotonia (hi po toe ne ah) a condition of diminished tone of the skeletal muscles.

hypoxia (hi pok se ah) reduction of oxygen supply to tissue below physiological levels despite adequate perfusion of the tissue by blood.

hysterectomy (hiss tur ek tuh me) is the operation of removal of the entire uterus.


iatrogenic (eye at ro jen ik) means caused by treatment or diagnostic procedures.

ichthyosis (ik the o sis) any of several inherited skin conditions in which the skin is dry and cracked, like fish scales.
icteric (ik ter ik) pertaining to or affected with jaundice.

idiocy (id e uh se) means obsolete; offensive term for profound mental retardation.

ileectomy (il e ek tuh me) means surgical removal of the ileum.

ileitis (ill ee eye tis) is an inflammation of the ileum.

ileogastric (il eo gas trik) reflex means inhibition of gastric motility by expansion of the ileum.

ileojejunitis  (il eo je ju nie tis) is a chronic inflammatory condition involving the jejunum and parts or most of the ileum.
ileostomy (il e os tuh me) is the surgical creation of an opening into the ileum.

ileum (il e um) the distal part of the small intestine, extending from the jejunum to the cecum.

iliocostal (il e o kos tl) connecting or pertaining to the ilium and ribs.

iliofemoral  (il eo fem or ul) pertaining to the ilium and femur.

iliopsoas (il eo so us) This is a very strong muscle that lifts the knee.  It begins at the lumbar region (lower back) and inserts into the femur (thigh bone).

ilium (ill e um) is the upper part of the hip, blade-shaped, on each side of the pelvic girdle.

imbricate (im brikate) to build a surface with overlapping layers of material. Surgeons may imbricate with layers of tissue when closing a wound or other opening in a body part.

immunodeficiency (im you no deh fish en see) disorder an abnormal condition of the immune system in which immunity is insufficient and resistance to infection is reduced.

immunoglobulin (im you no glob you lin) is any of five distinct antibodies present in the serum and outer secretions of the body.

impetigo (im puh tih go) an infection of the skin beginning as a redness and progressing to itching, blisters, breakdown of the skin, and honey-colored crusts.

implantation is the attachment and embedding of the zygote (zi goat), fertilized egg, within the endothelial lining of the uterus.  

inborn  means acquired or occurring during life in the uterus; innate.

inbreeding is the production of offspring by the mating of closely related persons, organisms, or plants.

incisor (in sigh zor) adapted for cutting; incisor tooth is one of the eight front teeth, four in each dental arch.

incisura (in sigh su ruh) is an indentation or depression, usually on the edge of a bone or other part. It is also called a notch.
incus (ing kus) one of the three small bones of the middle ear, also known as the anvil.

infarct (in farkt) is an area of decay in a tissue, vessel, organ, or part resulting from an interruption in the blood supply to the area, or, less often, by  the blockage of a vein that carries blood away from the area. 

influenza (in floo en zuh), also known as the flu, is a highly contagious infection usually of the lungs caused by a virus and transmitted by airborne particles.

infrapatellar (in fruh puh tel lur) means inferior to the patella (puh tel lah). 

infundibulum (in fun dib you lum) is the funnel-shaped opening into the fallopian tubes.

inguinal (ing gwih nl) means pertaining to the groin.

inguinal (ing gwih nl) lymph nodes are lymph nodes located in the inguinal or groin area of the lower abdomen.

innervation is the supply of nerves to a part of the body.  It also means the stimulation of a part of the body through the action of the nerves.

inoculation (inok yuh lay shun) is a substance introduced into the body to cause or to increase immunity to a disease or condition.

insufficiency is an organ or body part not able to perform a necessary function adequately.

insulin shock is a form of shock caused by an overdose of insulin, a reduced intake of food, or too much exercise.
insulinoma (in suh lin oh mah) is a benign tumor of the islets of Langerhans that may cause hypoglycemia.

interatrial (in ter a tree ul) septum is a wall or partition that separates the atria (the receiving and upper chambers of the heart).

intercarpal (in tur kahr pl) means between the carpal (kahr pl) bones.

intercavernous (in tur cav ur nus) means between to cavities.

intercellular (in ter sel yuh ler) means between or among cells.

interferon (in tur fer on) a natural protein found in cells when they are exposed to a virus or other foreign materials.

interstitial (in ter stih shl) means pertaining to the space between tissues.

interventricular (in ter ven trik u ler) septum is a wall or partition that separates the ventricles (the lower and pumping chambers of the heart.

intracranial (in truh cray ne ul) situated within the cranium.

intrahepatic (in truh huh pat ik) means within the liver.

intramedullary (in truh med u lar e) means 1. within the spinal cord. 2. within the medulla oblongata.
3. within the marrow cavity of a bone.

intravascular (in truh vas ku lar) means within a vessel.

intraventricular (in truh ven trik  u lur) means within a ventricle.

introitus (in tro  ih tus) the entrance to a cavity or space.

intussusception (in tus sus sep shun) is the sinking of one part of the bowel into the next, like a telescope effect.

in vitro (in vee tro) means within a glass; observable in a test tube; in an artificial invironment.

ionization (eye o nye zay shun) the process in which a neutral atom or molecule gain or loses electrons.

iris (eye ris) the colored muscular layer that surrounds the pupil.

iritis (eye rye tis) is inflammation of the iris of the eye.

ischemia (is key me uh) not enough blood supply to an organ or part.

ischemic (is key mik) pertaining to, or affected with ischemia.

ischium (is key um) is the lower and posterior portion of the pelvic girdle.

islet (i lut) a group of cells or an isolated piece of tissue.

islets of Langerhans (eye luts of lahng er hahnz) are specialized cells in the pancreas that secrete hormones which play a major role in the metabolism of sugars and starches in the body.

isorcoria (i so kor e uh) means equality in size of the two pupils.

isotope (eye suh tope) any of different forms of a chemical element having almost the same properties.


jaagsiekte (yahg seek tuh) is pulmonary adenomatosis.

Jaccoud's (zhah kooz) syndrome is chronic arthritis occurring after rheumatic fever, usually after repeated attacks, and characterized by fibrous changes in the joint capsules and tendons, leading to deformities that may resemble rheumatoid arthritis.

jacket crown  is a porcelin or acrylic resin restoration of the clinical crown of a tooth that usually terminates under the gingiva.

jackscrew (jack skroo) is a threaded device used in orthodontic appliances for the separation or approximation of teeth or jaw segments.

Jackson's syndrome is paralysis of structures innervated by the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth cranial nerves, including the soft palate, larynx, half of the tongue, and the sternomastoid and trapezius muscles.

jactatio (jak ta she o) rhythmic rolling of the head of a child just before falling asleep.

jactitation (jak tih tay shun) means the tossing to and fro of a patient in acute disease. 

Janet's (zhah naze) test  for differentiating between functional and organic anesthesia, the patient is instructed to say "yes or no", according to whether they feel the examiner's touch.

Janeway (jane way) lesion is a small red blemish on the palms or soles.  It is sometimes a sign of an infection of the heart.

janiceps (jan ih seps) means conjoined twins with one head and two opposite faces.

Janz syndrome means juvenile myoclonic (my o klon ik) epilepsy.

Jarvik-7 (jar vik) was an artificial heart designed by R.K. Jarvik to be used in humans.  It was an early model that depended on air pressure to drive the ventricles.

jaundice (jawn dis) a yellow discoloring of the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes as the result of excess bile pigment in the blood.

jaw is either the mandible (man dih bl) or the maxilla (mak sil uh), the two bony structures in the head of vertebrates (vur tuh brates).

jaw reflex is an abnormal reflex evoked by tapping the chin with a rubber hammer while the mouth is half open and the jaw muscles are relaxed.  A quick snapping shut of the jaw indicates damage to part of the cerebral cortex.

jejunal (jih joo nul) means pertaining to the jejunum.

jejunal (jih joo nl) feeding tube is a hollow tube inserted into the small intestine through the stomach wall for giving liquid food.

jejunectomy (jih joo nec tuh me) means surgical removal of the jejunum.

jejunitis (jih joo nye tis) inflammation of the jejunum.

jejunocecostomy (jih joo no see cos tuh me) is the surgical creation of an anastomosis between the jejunum and the cecum.

jejunocolostomy (jih joo no ko los tuh me) is the surgical creation of an anastomosis between the jejunum and the colon.

jejunoileal (jih joo no il e ul) means pertaining to the jejunum and ileum.

jejunoileitis (jih joo no il e i tis) is inflammation of the jejunum and ileum together.

jejunoileostomy (jih joo no il e os tuh me) the formation of an anastomosis between  the proximal jejunum and ileum together.

jejunojejunostomy (jih joo no jih joo nos tuh me) the operative formation of an anastomosis between two portions of the jejunum.

jejunorrhaphy (jih joo nor uh fe) an operation to repair the jejunum.

jejunostomy (jih joo nos tuh me) an operation to make an artificial opening to the small intestine through the stomach wall.

jejunotomy (jih joo not uh me) surgical incision of the jejunum.

jejunum (jih joo num) that portion of the small intestine which extends from the duodenum to the ileum.

jerk is a sudden reflex or involuntary movement.

jet  is a high-velocity stream of blood emerging from a stenotic lesion.

Jeune's (zhoenz, zhoonz) syndrome is an inherited form of short-limbed dwarfism with narrowing of the upper chest and, occasionally, more than the normal number of fingers or toes.

Job's (jobz) syndrome is an Old Testament figure who suffered from skin disease and other bad luck.

jodbasedow (ih ode baz uh do) means iodine-induced hyperthyroidism.

Joffroy's (zhof rwahz) reflex is twitching of the gluteal muscles on pressure against the buttocks in spastic paralysis.

Johnson's method (in dentistry) a technique for filling root canals.  A plastic material is forced into the root canal until it is sealed.

joint  a connection between two or more bones of the skeleton.

joint chondroma (kon dro muh) a mass of cartilage that develops in the synovial membrane of a joint.

joint fracture is a break in the joint surfaces of the body parts of a joint.

joint mouse is a small, movable stone in or near a joint, usually the knee.

Joseph disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system.

juga (joo guh) is plural of jugum.

jugate (joo gate) means locked together, and it also means marked by ridges.

jugomaxillary (joo go mak sih lair e) means zygomaticomaxillary.

jugual (joo gl) means connecting like a yoke.  It also means buccal.

jugular (jug u lur) means pertaining to a jugular vein.

jugular fossa  (faw suh) is a deep depression on the inside of one of the large bones forming the lower head. (petrosa of the temporal bone).

jugular impulse is a pulse in the jugular vein.

jugular process a portion of the cuplike bone, occipital, (ok sip ih tl) bone of the back of the skull.

jugulation (jug u lay shun) the sudden and rapid cessation of disease by therapeutic measures.

jugum (joo gum) a depression or ridge connecting to structures.

juice any fluid secreted by the tissues of animals or plants.

junction nevus (neh vus) a hairless, flat or slightly raised, brown skin blemish.

juxta-articular (juks tuh ar tic u lur) also known as periarticular means around a joint.

juxtacardiac (juks tuh kahr dee ak) means paracardiac.

juxtaepiphyseal (juks tuh ep ih fiz e ul) means near to or adjoining an epiphysis.

juxtaposition (juks tuh puh zih shun) means apposition.

juxtapulmonary (juks tuh pool mo nair e) means parapulmonary.

juxtapyloric (juks tuh pie lor ik), also known as peripyloric, means near or around the pylorus or the pyloric part of the stomach.

juxtaspinal (juks tuh spie nl) means paravertebral.


kalemia (kuh lee me uh) is potassium present in the blood.

karyocyte car eo site) this is a nucleated cell.

keloid (key loyd) overgrowth of scar tissue at the site of a wound of the skin.

kelotomy (key lot uh me) means herniotomy or a surgical operation for the repair of hernia.

keratin (ker uh tin) a fibrous, sulfur-containing protein found in human skin, hair, nails, and tooth enamel.

keratinocyte (ker uh tin o cyte) a cell of the outer layer of the skin that produces keratin and other proteins.

keratitis (ker uh tie tis) means inflammation of the cornea.

keratoacanthoma (ker uh toe ak an tho muh) a fast-growing, benign, flesh-colored pimple with a central plug of keratin.
keratoderma (ker uh toe der ma) is a horny skin or covering.

keratoectasia (ker uh toe ek tay zhuh) is a bulging forward of the cornea.

keratoglobus (ker uh toe glo bus) a usually bilateral developmental anomaly of the cornea.

keratohemia (ker uh toe he me uh) are deposits of blood present in the cornea.

keratoiridocyclitis (ker uh toe ir ih doe sik lie tis) means inflammation of the cornea, iris, and ciliary
(sil e ar e) body.

keratoiritis (ker uh toe eye rye tis) is inflammation of the cornea and iris.

keratoma (ker uh toe muh) is a callus.  It is also a horny tumor on the inside surface of the wall of a horse's hoof.

keratomalacia (ker uh toe muh lay shuh) an eye condition with dryness and ulceration of the cornea, resulting from severe vitamin A deficiency.  Without adequate treatment, the cornea eventually softens and develops holes, resulting in blindness.

keratome (ker uh tome) is a knife for incising or cutting the cornea.

keratomycosis (ker uh toe my ko sis) is a fungal infection of the cornea.

keratopathy (ker uh top uh the) is a noninflammatory disease of the cornea.

keratoplasty (ker uh toe plas te) means surgical repair of the cornea.

keratotic (ker uh tot ik) means pertaining to keratosis.

kerion  (kir e on) an inflamed, boggy tumor that develops as a reaction to a fungus infection.

ketoacidosis (key toe as ih doe sis) acidosis, an excessive level of acid in the blood, accompanied by ketosis, an increase of ketones in blood.

ketone (key tone) a substance produced in the body through a normal change that fats undergo in the liver.

ketosis (key toe sis) an abnormal buildup of ketone in body tissues and fluid. 

kidney one of a pair of bean-shaped urinary organs in the back of the abdomen on each side of the spine.

kidney cancer  a malignant tumor of the kidney's filtration tissue or of the renal pelvis, the urine-collecting system attached to the kidney.

kidney failure the inability of the kidneys to work.  The condition may be short-term (acute)
or long-term (chronic). 

kidney stone  a mineral buildup (stone) in the kidney.

killed vaccine a preparation of microbes (vaccine) that is made up of dead microorganisms.

kilocalorie (kill o kal o re) means large calorie.

kilogram (kil o gram) a unit for the measurement of mass in the metric system.

kilometer (kih lom uh tur) a unit of linear measurement of the metric system.

kin group  family members, whether related by blood or marriage.

kinesis (kih nee sis) means movement.

kinetic (kih net ik) means producing motion.

Kiesselbach's plexus (key sul bawks pleks us) is an intersection of small, fragile arteries and veins located in the skin on top of the wall dividing the nostrils (nasal septum).

Klebsiella (kleb ze el uh) a kind of bacteria that causes several respiratory diseases.

kleptolagnia (klep toe lag nee uh)  means sexual satisfaction produced by theft.

Klumpke's palsy (kloomp keys paul ze) a wasting and paralysis of the forearm that is present at birth.

knee replacement  is the surgical insertion of a hinged artificial joint.

knock-knee  a deformity in which the legs are curved in so that the knees are close together, knocking as the person walks.

Kocher (ko kur) Swiss surgeon and winner of the Nobel prize for his work on the physiology and pathology of the thyroid gland and for thyroidectomy for treatment of goiter.

koilonychia (koi lone ik e ah) are spoon nails, a condition in which fingernails are thin and curved  inwardly from side to side.

Kopan's needle  is a long needle used to locate the position of a breast tumor on an x-ray.

Koplik's (kop lik's) spots are small, red spots with bluish-white center's found on the inside of the mouth of persons with measles. 

Korotkoff (kor rot kawf) sounds  are sounds of blood flow heard during a blood pressure reading with a sphygmomanometer (spfig mo muh nom uh ter) and stethoscope.

Korsakoff's (kor suck offs) psychosis  is a type of memory loss often seen in chronic alcoholics.

Krabbe's (kraw buz) disease is an inherited disease of the body's use of fats (lipids) present at birth.

kraurosis (kraw ro sis) is a thickening and shriveling of the skin.

Krause's corpuscles (krou zez  kor pus sls) are nerve endings that are sensitive to temperature.

Krukenberg's (kroo kun bergz) tumor  is a tumor of the ovary that has spread from cancer cells of the stomach or intestines.

Kuntscher (koon chur) nail   a stainless steel nail used in bone surgery to repair fracture of the long bones, especially  the femur, the long bone of the thigh.

Kussmal  (koos moulz) breathing  is abnormally deep, very rapid breathing with sighing.  It occurs with diabetic acidosis, a condition of too much acid in the blood.

Kwashiorkor (kwash e or kor) a form of protein-energy malnutrition produced by severe protein deficiency.

Kwell a trademark for a drug that destroys lice and mites.

kymography (kie mog ruh fe) is a method for recording motion pictures of body organs.

kyphosis (kie foe sis) means hunchback of the thoracic spine.

kyphoscoliosis (kie foe sko le o sis)  is a forward and to the side humplike curvature of the spine, often associated with a heart disorder.

kyphotic (kie faw tic) means affected with or pertaining to kyphosis.


labia (lay be ah) also known as the lips form the opening to the oral cavity.

labyrinth (lab ih rinth) is the inner ear that contains the sensory receptors for hearing and balance.

labyrinthectomy (lab ih rin theck toh me) is the surgical removal of the labyrinth.

labyrinthitis (lab ih rin thigh tis) is an inflammation of the labyrinth resulting in vertigo.

lacrimal (lack rih mul) bones make up part of the orbit at the inner angle of the eye.

lacrimation (lack rih may shun) is the normal continuous secretion of tears by the lacrimal glands.

lactation (lack tay shun) is the process of forming and secreting milk from the breasts as nourishment for the infant.

lacteals (lack tee als) are specialized lymph vessels located in the small intestine.

lactogenic (lack toh jen ick) hormone, also known as prolactin (pro lack tin)
or luteotropin (loo tee o tro pin), stimulates the secretion of milk and influences maternal behavior.

lamina (lam ih nah) is one part of the posteriorportion of a vertebra.

laminectomy (lam ih neck toh me) is the surgical removal of a spinal lamina.

laparorrhaphy (lap ah ror ah fee) means to suture or stitch the abdominal wall.

laparoscopic cholecystectomy (lap uh ro skop ic koh lee sis teck toe me) is the surgical removal of the gallbladder using a laparoscope and other instruments, such as a trocar (tro kar) and cannula (kan nuh la) while working through a very small opening in the abdominal wall.

laparoscopy (lap ah ros koh pe) is the visual examination of the interior of the abdomen.

laparotomy (lap ah rot oh me) is a surgical incision through the abdominal wall.

laryngectomy (lar in jeck toh me) is the surgical removal of the larynx.

laryngitis (lar ing jigh tis) is an inflammation of the larynx.

laryngoplasty (lah ring goh plas te) is the surgical repair of the larynx.

laryngoplegia (lar ing goh plee jee ah) is the paralysis of the larynx.

laryngoscopy (lar ing gos koh pe) is the visual examination of the larynx using a laryngoscope (lar ing go skope).

laryngospasm (lah ring go spazm) is a sudden spasmodic closure of the larynx.

larynx (lair inks), also known as the voice box, contains the structures that make speech possible.

laser (lay zer) acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

leiomyoma ( lie oh my oh mah), also known as a fibroid, is a benign tumor derived from the smooth muscle of the uterus.
lens   is the flexible and curved structure located behind the iris and pupil.

lesion (lee zhun) is a pathological change of the tissues due to a disorder or injury.

lethargy (leh thar gee) is the state of being indifferent, apathetic, or sluggish.

leukemia (loo kee me ah) is a malignant neoplasm (nee oh plah zm) of the blood-forming tissues.

leukopenia (loo ko pe nee ah) is an abnormal decrease in the number of white blood cells.  It may affect one kind or all kinds of white blood cells.

leukorrhea (loo koh ree ah) is a profuse, whitish mucus discharge from the uterus and vagina.

levator (lee vay tor) muscle  lifts a body part.

levatores  costarum (lev ah toh reez kahs tah rum) are the muscles that lift the ribs.

ligaments are fibrous, connective tissue bands that join  the articulating ends of bones.

ligation (lih gay shun) is the act of binding or tying off blood vessels or ducts.

lipase (lip ays) any of several digestive system enzymes that increase the breakdown of fats (lipids).

lipectomy (lih peck toh me), also known as adipectomy (ad ih peck toe me), is the surgical removal of fat beneath the skin.

lipocytes (lih po sites) are fat cells.

lipoma (lih poe muh) is a benign tumor made up of mature fat cells.

liposuction (lip oh suck shun, lie po suck shun) is the surgical removal of fat beneath the skin with the aid of suction, also known as suction assisted lipectomy (lih peck toh me).

lithotomy (lih thot oh me) is a surgical incision for the removal of a stone (usually of the bladder).

lithotripsy (lith oh trip see), also known as extracorporeal (x truh kor por e ul) shock-wave-lithotripsy, is the destruction of a kidney stone with the use of ultrasonic waves traveling through water.

lobectomy (low beck toh mee) is the surgical removal of a lobe of the lung.

lobotomy (loh bot oh me) is a procedure in which nerve fibers are severed in the frontal lobe of the brain.

lochia (loh key ah) is the vaginal discharge that occurs during the first two weeks after childbirth.  It consists of blood, tissue, and mucus.

lordosis (lor doh sis), also known as swayback, is an abnormal increase in the forward curvature of the lower or lumbar spine.

lumbago (lum bay go), also known as low back pain, is a pain of the lumbar region.

lungs  together the structures of the bronchial tree form the organs known as the lungs.

lunula (loo new lah) is a half-moon shaped white region at the nail root and is generally found in the thumbnail and in varying degrees in other nails.

luteinizing (loo te in nye zeeng) hormone  stimulates ovulation and is important in maintaining pregnancy.

lyme disease is transmitted by an intected deer tick and is caused by the spirochete (spy ro keet) bacteria Borellia burgdorferi (buh rel e uh  burg dor fer e, or fer i)

lymph (limf) cells  are composed of lymphocytes (lim fo sites), monocytes (maw no sites), a few platelets, and erythrocytes (eh rith roh sites) that are all blood cells. 

lymphadenitis (lim fad eh nigh tis), also known as swollen glands, is an inflammation of the lymph nodes.

lymph fluid is a clear and colorless tissue fluid also known as intercellular  (in ter sell you ler) or
interstitial (in ter stih shl) fluid.

lymph nodes  are small round or oval structures located in lymph vessels.  They fight disease by producing antibodies (an te baw dees), which are part of the immune system.

lymphocytes (lim fo sites) are agranular (a gran you ler) leukocytes ( loo ko sites) important in producing immunity to protect the body.

lymphokines (lim fo keens), which are produced by the T-cells, are molecules other than antibodies that are involved in signaling between the cells of the immune system.

lymphoma (lim fo mah) is a general term applied to any tumor made up of lymphatic tissue.

lymphosarcoma (lim foe sar ko muh) is a general term applied to malignant neoplastic disorders of lymphoid (lim foid) tissue but not including Hodgkin's disease.

lymph vessels  like veins lymph vessels have valves to prevent the backward flow of fluid.

lysis (lye sis) is the destruction of a cell by penetrating the cell wall, permitting fluid to fill the cell and causing the cell to burst.


macerated (mas ur a ted) something softened by wetting or soaking.

macroadenoma (mack ro ad uh no muh) is a pitutitary adenoma over 10 mm in diameter, large enough to be easily seen by usual radiologic techniques.

macrocephaly (mack row sef ah lee) is a condition in which the head is abnormally large.

macrodontia (mack ro don shuh) a developmental disorder marked by increase in the size of the teeth.

macrosomia (mack ro so me uh) means abnormally large size.

malacia (muh lay shuh) means abnormal softening.

malaria (muh lar e uh) an infection caused by one or more of at least four different species of the
protozoan (pro to zo on) organism Plasmodium (plaz mo de um), carried by a mosquito bite.

malleolar (muh lee o lur) means pertaining to a malleolus.

malleus (mal ee us), also known as the hammer, is one of the small bones of the inner ear.

mandible (man dih bl) This is the bone of the lower jaw.

manubrium (muh noo bree um) a handlelike structure or part, often used alone to designate the manubrium sterni (stern eye) or sternum.

marsupial (mar soo pe ul) a member of the order Marsupialia ( mar soo pe a le uh).

mastication (mas tih kay shun) the act of chewing food in preparation for swallowing and digestion.

mastoidalgia (mas toy dal jee ah) is pain in the mastoid region.

mastopathia (mas to path e uh) is a disease of the mammary gland.  It is also called
mastopathy (mas top uh the).

mastorrhagia (mas to ra je uh) means hemorrhage or bleeding from the mammary gland.

mastotomy (mas tot uh me) means surgical incision of a breast.

maxillary (mack sih lar e) means pertaining to the maxilla.

maxillotomy (max sih lot uh me) means surgical sectioning of the maxilla which allows movement of all or a part of the maxilla into the desired position.

meatotomy ( me uh  tot uh me) an incision of an acoustic or urinary meatus in order to enlarge it.

meconium (meh koh nee um) is a material that collects in the intestine of a fetus and forms the first stools of a newborn.

medialis (me de a lis) is a general term indicating a part situated nearer to the median plane or the midline of a body or part. 

mediastinitis (me de as sti ni tis) means inflammation of the mediastinum (me de as sti num).

mediocarpal (me do o kahr pl) means between the two rows of bones of the carpus (wrist). 

megalomania (meg ah low may nee ah) an abnormal mental state with delusions of grandeur in which one believes onself to be a person of great power, fame, or wealth.

melatonin (mel ah toe nin) a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in many species of animals.

melena (meh lee nah) the passage of black stools containing digested blood.

menarche (meh nar kee) is the beginning of the menstrual function that occurs at the onset of puberty.

Meniere's (men ee ayrz) disease  is a chronic disease of the inner ear marked by recurrent episodes of vertigo, progressive unilateral nerve deafness, and tinnitis.

meningitis (men in jigh tis) is inflammation of the meninges of the brain or spinal cord.

meningopathy (men in gop ah thee) is any disease of the meninges.

menometrorrhagia (men oh met roh ray jee ah) is excessive uterine bleeding occurring both at menses and irregular intervals.

menopause (men oh pawz), also known as the climacteric (kly mack ter ick), is the normal cessation or stopping of the monthly flowIt usually occurs after the age of 45. 

metabolism (meh tab oh lizm) is the sum of all chemical processes that take place in the body as they relate to the movement of nutrients in the blood after digestion, resulting in growth, energy, release of wastes, and other body functions.

metacarpals (met ah kar plz) are the bones that form the palm of the hands.

metastasize (meh tas tah size) is the process by which tumor cells spread to distant parts of the body.

metatarsals (met ah tahr slz) are the bones of the foot.

metrorrhea (me troh ree ah) is an abnormal uterine  discharge.

microcephaly (my kro sef ah lee) is a condition in which the head is abnormally small.

microorganism (my kro or gan izm) is an organism so small it can only be seen with the help of a microscope.

microtia (my kro she ah) means abnormally small ears.

mole is an example of a nevus (nee vus).  The term is usually used to describe any pigmented blemish on the skin.

moniliasis (mon ih lye ah sis ) is an infection of the skin or mucous membranes caused by the yeast Candida albicans (kan dih duh al bih kanz).  These infections are usually found in the mouth or in the vagina.

momochromatism (mon oh kroh mah tizm), also known as color blindness, is the lack of the ability to distinguish colors.

monocytes (mon oh sites) are the largest of the white blood cells.  They have two to four times the diameter of red blood cells.

mucus (myou kus) is the substance secreted by the mucous membranes.

multiparous (mul tip ah rus) means a woman who has given birth two or more times.

myalgia (my al jee ah) is muscle tenderness or pain.

myasthenia  (my as thee nee ah) is muscle weakness from any cause.

myelin (my uh lin) a fatty substance found in the covering of various nerve fibers.

myelosis (my eh loh sis) means a tumor of the spinal cord.  It also means an abnormal proliferation of bone marrow tissue.

myocarditis (my oh kar dye tis) is an inflammation of the myocardium (my oh kar dee um).

myolysis (my ol ih sis) is the breaking down or degeneration of muscle tissue.

myometrium (my oh me tree um) It is one of the three major layers of the uterus, which is the muscular middle layer of the uterus.

myonecrosis (my oh neh kroh sis) is the necrosis, or death, of individual muscle fibers.

myoparesis (my oh par eh sis) is a weakness or slight paralysis of a muscle.

myoplasty (my oh plas tee) is the surgical repair of a muscle.

myotonia (my oh toh ne ah) is continued contraction of a muscle despite attempts at relaxation. 

myringitis (mir in jigh tis) is an inflammation of the tympanic (tim pan ik ) membrane.

myxedema (mick seh dee mah), also known as nonpitting edema, is one result of hypothyroidism.  It is a condition with abnormal deposits of mucin in the skin and other tissues.


nanometer (nan o meter) one billionth of a meter.                                                                                 

narcissism (nar sih sizm) is an abnormal interest in oneself and is characterized by a preoccupation with self-love.

narcotic, also known as an opiate (oh pe at) is a substance that produces insensibility or stupor and is generally derived from opium or produced synthetically.

narcolepsy (nar koh lep see) is a syndrome marked by recurrent uncontrollable seizures of drowsiness and sleep.
naris (na ris) is singular for nares (na reez) and is referring to one nostril.

nasal (na zl) means pertaining to the nose.

nasoantral (nay zo an trl ) pertaining to the nose and the maxillary antrum (sinus).

nasociliary (na zo sil e ar e) means pertaining to or affecting the eyes, brow, and root of the nose, as the nasociliary nerve.

nasolacrimal (na zo lak rih ml) is pertaining to the nose and lacrimal apparatus.

natal (na tl) means pertaining to birth.

natremia (na tre me ah), also known as hypernatremia, means excessive sodium in the blood.

nausea (naw ze ah, naw zhuh) is the sensation leading to the urge to vomit.

nebula (neb u  luh) a slight eye (corneal) spot or scar that usually does not block sight and can be seen only by special lighting.

necrobiosis lipoidica (nek ro bio sis  li poi di kuh) is a skin disease with thin, shiny, yellow to red spots (plaques) on the shins or forearms. 

necrosis (nuh kro sis) local tissue death that occurs in groups of cells because of disease or injury.  

neocortex (neo kor teks) the newer, six-layered portion of the cerebral cortex.

neodymium (Nd) (ne o dim e um) is a rare element of atomic number, 60; atomic weight, 144.24

neonate (nee o nate) is a newborn infant during the first four weeks after birth.

neonatologist (nee oh nay tol oh jist) specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the newborn.

neoplasia (ne o pla zhuh) the formation of a neoplasm (ne o plaz um) the progressive multiplication of cells under conditions that would not elicit, or would cause stopping of, multiplication of normal cells.

neoplasm (ne o plazm), also known as a tumor, is any new growth of tissue in which the multiplication of cells is uncontrolled and progressive.

nephralgia (nuh fral juh) means pain in a kidney.

nephrectasis (neh freck tah sis) is the enlargement or stretching of a kidney.

nephrectomy (neh freck toh me) is the surgical removal of a kidney.

nephritis (neh fry tis) is an inflammation of the kidney.

nephrolith (nef row lith), also known as renal calculus or a kidney stone, is a stone in a kidney.

nephrolithiasis (nef row lih thigh ah sis) is a disorder mrked by the presence of stones in the kidney.

nephrolysis (neh frol ih sis) is a freeing of a kidney from adhesions.

nephromalacia (nef row mah lay she ah) is the abnormal softening of the kidney.

nephropexy (nef row peck see) is the surgical fixation of a floating kidney.

nephroptosis (nef rop to sis) is a downward displacement of a kidney, called also floating, hypermobile, movable, or wandering kidney. 

nephrolithotomy (nef roh lih thot oh me) is surgical removal of a kidney stone through an incision in the kidney.

nephrons (nef rons) are the functional units of the kidneys.  In the nephrons, urine is formed by the processes of filtration, reabsorption, and secretion.

nephropyelolithotomy (nef ro pi uh lo lih thot uh me) removal of a calculus from the renal pelvis by an incision through the kidney substance.

nephrorrhaphy (nef ror ah fee) means stitching or suturing of the kidney.

nephrosclerosis (nef row skleh row sis) is the abnormal hardening of the kidney.

nephrosis (nef row sis) is any kidney disease, particularly diseases characterized by degenerative lesions of the renal tubules.

neuralgia (new ral jee ah) is pain in a nerve or nerves.

neurasthenia ( new ras thee nee ah) is a neurotic disorder marked by fatigue, irritability, headache, depression, insomnia, difficulty in concentrating, and lack of capacity for enjoyment.

neuritis (nuh ri tis ) is inflammation of a nerve, with pain and tenderness, anesthesia, and paresthesia, paralysis, wasting, and disappearance of the reflexes.

neurectomy (new reck toh me) is the surgical removal of a nerve.

neuroblast (noor o blast) any embryonic cell that develops into a nerve cell or neuron.

neuroglia (new rog lee uh), also known as glial (glye ul) cells, are the supportive and connective cells of the nervous system.

neurohumor (noor o hyoo mur), also known as neurohormone (nooro hor mone), is a hormone secreted by a specialized neuron into the bloodstream, the cerebralspinal (suh re brl, cer re brl  spi nl) fluid, or the intercellular spaces of the nervous system.

neuroma (nuh ro muh) a tumor growing from a nerve or made up largely of nerve cells and nerve fibers.

neuropathy (new rop ah thee) is any disease of the nervous system.

neuroplasty (new row plas tee) is the surgical repair of a nerve or nerves.

neurorrhaphy (new ror ah fee) means to suture or stitch the ends of a severed nerve. 

neurotomy (new rot oh me) is a surgical incision or the dissection of a nerve.

neutropenia (noo tro pe ne uh) is a decrease in the number of neutrophils in the blood.

neutophilia (noo tro fil e ah) means an increase in the number of neutrophils in the blood.

neutrophils (new troh fills) are agranular leukocytes that fight disease by engulfing and swallowing germs.  This process is called phagocytosis (fag oh sigh toe sis). 

nevoid (ne void) means resembling a nevus.

nitremia (nye tree me ah) an excess of urea or other nitrogenous (nye traw jen us) compounds in the blood.

nocturia (nok tu re ah) urinary frequency at night.

nucleoplasm (nyoo klee o plazm) is the protoplasm (pro to plazm) within the nucleus of the cell.

nympholepsy (nim fo lep see) a violent emotional state in which one has a desire for something one cannot have.

nymphomania (nim fo ma ne ah) a disorde of women characterized by an excessive desire for sexual satisfaction.

nystagmus (nis tag mus) an involuntary, rapid, rhythmic movement of the eyeball.


oblique (o bleek) slanting; inclined; betwenn a horizontal and a perpendicular direction.

obstetrician (ob steh trish un) specializes in providing medical care to women during pregnancy, childbirth, and immediately after.

obstetrics (ob stet riks) that branch of surgery that deals with the management of pregnancy, labor, and the puerperium.

obstruction (ob struk shun) the act of blocking or clogging.

obtund (ob tund) means to render dull or blunt.

occipital (ok sip ih tl) bone  forms the posterior floor and walls of the cranium.

occipitoatlantal (ok sip ih to at lan tl) is pertaining to the occipital bone of the skull and the atlas cervical vertebrae.

occipitofrontal (ok sip ih to fron tl) means pertaining to the occiput and forehead.

occipitomastoid (ok sip ih to mas toid)

occlusion (ah kloo zhun) is a blood clot blocking an artery.

occlusive (uh kloo siv) means pertaining to or causing occlusion.

occult (uh kult) means obscure; hidden from observation; difficult to understand.

ocular (ok u lur) means of, pertaining to or affecting the eye.

odontectomy (o don tek toh me), also known as an extraction, is the surgical removal of a tooth.

odontoid (o don toid) toothlike; resembling a tooth.

odontoplasty (o don to plas te) is recontouring of a tooth surface, such as to enhance calculus and plaque control and morphology of the gingiva.

odontoscopy (o don tos kuh pe)is the taking of dental impressions.

oligodipsia (ol ih go dip se ah) means abnormally diminished thirst.

oligohydramnios (ol ih go hi dram ne os) is the presence of less than the normal amount of amniotic fluid, defined as 500 mL or less at term and smaller amounts at earlier gestational ages.

olighypermenorrhea (ol ih go hi pur men o ree ah) means menstrual flow happening less often than normal with excessive menstrual flow.

oligospermia (ol ih goh sper me ah), also known as low sperm count, is an insufficient amount of sperm in the semen.

oliguria (ol ih goo ree ah) means scanty urination.

omentectomy (o mun tek tuh me) is the surgical removal of all or a portion of the omentum.

omentum (o men tum) is an extension of the abdominal lining (peritoneum) that surrounds one or more near by organs in the stomach and bowel area (abdomen).   

omohyoid (o mo hi oid) pertaining to the shoulder and the hyoid bone.

onychocryptosis (on ih ko krip to sis) means an ingrown toenail.

onychodystrophy (on ih ko dis truh fe) means dystrophy of the nails, changes in color, texture, and structure of the nails.

onychogenic (on ih ko jen ik) means producing or forming nail substance.

onychograph (o nik o graf) an instrument for observing and recording the nail pulse and capillary circulation.

onychosis (on ih ko sis) means disease or deformity of the nails.

oophorectomy (o of uh rek tuh me) is the removal of an ovary or ovaries.

oophoritis (oh of oh rye tis) is inflammation of an ovary.

oophoropexy (o of uh ro pek se) the operation of lifting and fixing an ovary to the abdominal wall.

oncology (ong kol oh jee) is the scientific study of tumors.

opacity (o pas ih te) the condition of being opaque

opaque (o pake) means that light cannot pass through this substance.

ophthalmia (of that me ah) severe inflammation of the eye or of the conjunctiva or deeper structures of the eye.

orbicular (or bik u lur) means circular or rounded.

orbitotomy (or bih tot oh me) is a surgical incision into the orbit.

orchidectomy (or kih deck toh me), also known as orchectomy, orhiectomy (or kee eck toh me), and testectomy is a testis removed surgically.

orifice (or ih fis) is an entrance into or an outlet from a body cavity or canal.

orthopnea (or thop ne uh) is an abnormal condition in which a patient must sit or stand to breathe deeply or comfortably.

os coxae (oss kock sigh), also known as the hip or pelvic bones, form the pelvic girdle that provides structure for the hip area.

osteoarthritis (oss te o arthri tis) is a common form of arthritis in which one or more joints have tissue changes.

osteoclasis (oss tee ock lah sis) is the intentional surgical fracture of a bone to fix a deformity.

osteomalacia (oss tee oh mah lay she ah) means abnormal softening of bones due to disease.

osteomyelitis (oss tee oh my eh lye tis) is an inflammation of the bone and bone marrow.

osteonecrosis (oss tee oh nee kroh sis) is the destruction and death of bone tissue caused by an insufficient blood supply, infection, malignancy, or trauma.

osteopathy (os te op ah thee) refers to any bone disease.

osteoporosis (oss tee oh poh roh sis) is a marked loss of bone density and increase in bone porosity that may result in bone fractures.

osteotomy (oss tee ot oh me) is the surgical division or sectioning of a bone.

otalgia (oh tal jee ah) is pain in the ear.

otic (o tik) means pertaining to the ear.

otomycosis (o to my ko sis) is a fungal infection of the external auditory canal.

otorhinolaryngology (oh toh rye no lar in gol oh jee) is the study of the ears, nose, and throat.

otorrhea (oh toh ree ah) is a discharge from the ears.
ovariorrhexis (oh vay ree oh reck sis) is the rupture of an ovary.

ovulation (oh vyoo lay shun) is releasing an egg or ovum from the ovary after the breaking of a mature small cavity (follicle).

oxytocin (ok sih to sin) a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that starts uterine contractions in bringing on or increasing labor and release of milk from the breasts.



pacemaker  is a group of special nervous tissue at the junction of a great vein (superior vena cava) and the right chamber (atrium) of the heart.  It is often called the sinoatrial node.

palate (pal ut) is the partition separating the nasal and oral cavities, made up of a hard bony part anteriorly and a soft fleshy part posteriorly.

palliative (pal e uh tiv) affording relief but not cure.  an alleviating medicine.

palmar (pal mur) means pertaining to the palm.

palpable (pal puh bl) means perceptible by touch.

palpation (pal pa shun) is the act of feeling with the hand.

palpebral (pal puh brl) means pertaining to an eyelid.

pancreas (pan kree as) a fish-shaped, grayish-pink gland about 5 inches long that stretches across the back of the abdomen, behind the stomach.

pancreatectomy (pan kre uh tek tuh me) means surgical removal of the pancreas.

pancreaticobiliary (pan kree uh to bil e er e) means of, relating to, or affecting the pancreas and the bile ducts and gallbladder.

pancreatography (pan kre uh tog ruh fe) means radiography of the pancreas performed during surgical exploration.

pancreectomy (pan kre ek tuh me) means pancreatectomy.

panendoscope (pan en do skop) is an endoscope for wide-angle viewing, also a cystoscope that permits wide-angle viewing of the urinary bladder and urethra.

panhysterosalpingectomy (pan his tur o sal pin jek tuh me) is excision of the body of the uterus, cervix, and uterine tube.

panniculus (pa nik u lus) means a layer of membrane.

papillary (pap ih lar e) means pertaining to or resembling a papilla or nipple.

papilledema (pap iluhde muh) swelling of the optic disc caused by pressure in the skull.

papilloma (pap ih lo mah) is a noncancer tumor with a branching or stalking.

papillotome (pap ih lo tome) a cutting instrument for incising the major duodenal papilla.

papyraceous (pap ih ra shus) means like paper; chartaceous.

paracervical (par uh ser vih kl) means pertaining to the inferior part of the parametrium.

paracolic (par uh kol ik) means adjacent to the colon.

parahepatic (par uh huh pat ik) means beside the liver.

paralyze (par uh lize) means to put into a state of paralysis.

paranasal (par uh nay zl) means near or alongside the nose.

paraspinal (par uh spi nl) means pertaining to adjacent to the spinal column, as the paraspinal muscles.

parasympathetic (par uh sim puh thet ik) means of or pertaining to that division of the autonomic nervous system made up of the ocular, bulbar, and sacral divisions.

parathyroid (par uh thi roid) means situated beside the thyroid gland.

parietal (puh rie uh tl) means of or pertaining to the walls of a cavity.

parieto-occipital (puh ri uh to ok sip ih tl) pertaining to the parietal and occipital bones or lobes.

parotid (puh rot id) situated or occurring near the ear, as the parotid gland.

parous (par us) means to have given birth to one or more viable offspring.

paroxysm (par ock sizm) means convulsion or spasm.

patella (puh tel uh) a flat triangle-shaped bone at the front of the knee joint.

pectinate (pek tih nate) means shaped like a comb.

pelvimetry (pel vim eh tree) is the measurement of the pelvis to determine its capacity to allow passage of

pepsin is an enzyme released in the stomach that speeds up the breakdown of protein.

perception is the ability to recognize sensory stimulus.

percussion (per kush un) is an examination technique that involves tapping the surface of the body with a finger or instrument.

percutaneous (pur kyoo ta ne us) means pertaining to through the skin.

perfusion means the flow of blood through the vessels of an organ.

pericardiocentesis (per ih kar dee oh sen tee sis) is the drawing fluid from the pericardial sac.

pericarditis (per ih kar di tis) is an inflammation of the pericardium (per ih kar dee um).

pericardium (per ih kar dee um) is a double-walled membranous sac surrounding the heart.

perimetrium (per ih me tree um) is one of the three major layers of tissue of the uterus and is the membranous outer layer.

perineum (per ih nee um) is the area between the vaginal orifice and the anus.

perinatal (per ih na tl) means pertaining to the time just before and after birth.

periodontitis (per ee oh don ti tis) means inflammation of the gingiva and other tissues of the
peridontium (per ih don she um).

periodontium (per ee oh don she um) are the tissues that invest or help to invest and support the teeth.

periosteotomy (per ee oss tee ot oh me) is an incision of the periosteum.

periosteum (per ee oss tee um) is the tough and fibrous outermost covering of bone.

peristalsis (per ih stal sis) is the wavelike, rhythmic contraction of smooth muscle.  It forces food through the digestive tract, bile through the bile duct, and urine through the ureters.

pernicious anemia (per nish us  ah nee me ah) is a form of anemia that results from a failure of the body to absorb vitamin B12

persistent generalized lymphadenopathy (lim fad eh nop ah thee) is the continued presence of diffuse enlargement of lymph nodes.

perspiration  means sweat or the act of sweating.

pertussis (per tus is) also known as whooping cough is a contagious bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract characterized by a paroxysmal cough.

petechiae (pee tee kee ee) are small pinpoint hemorrhages.

phagocytosis (fag oh sigh toh sis) is the process by which some cells of the body, such as cells that help the body fight bacteria eat and get rid of small living things and cell wastes.

phalanges (fah lan jees) are the bones of the toes (and of the fingers).

pharyngoplasty (fah ring go plas tee) is the surgical repair of the pharynx.


q.d., in prescriptions, a Latin phrase meaning "every day."

q.h., in prescriptions, a Latin phrase meaning "every hour."

q.2h., in prescriptions, a Latin phrase meaning "every 3 hours."

quack, a totally unqualified person posing as an expert, such as a person pretending to be a physician.

Q fever, a sudden feverish illness, usually involving the respiratory system.

Quack salver (kwak sal vur) one claiming special merit for treatment with medications and salves.

quadrangle (kwod rang gul) means quadrilateral.

quadrant (kwod runt) any one of four corresponding parts or quarters, as of the abdominal surface, the field of vision, the dentition, or the tympanic membrane.

quadrantectomy (kwod run tek tuh me) a form of partial mastectomy for breast cancer.

quadriceps (kwod rih seps) possessing four heads.

quadriceps femoris (kwod rih seps  fem or is) a four-headed muscle of the femur or thigh.  It is also simply called the qudriceps.

quadrigeminal (kwod rih jem ih nl) fourfold, or in four parts; forming a group of four.

quadrigeminy (kwod rih jem uh nee) means occurrence in fours. the occurrence of a quadrigeminal pulse.

quadrilateral (kwod rih lat ur ul) means having four sides.

quadrinal (kwod rih nl) is a trademark for a respiratory drug.

quadriplegia (kwod rih ple juh) paralysis of all four limbs.

quadriplegic (kwod rih ple jik) one who has paralysis of all four limbs.

quadrisect (kwod rih sekt) means to cut into four parts.

quadritubercular (kwod rih too ber ku ler) means having four tubercles or cusps.

quadruplet (kwod roop lut) means one of four offspring produced in one gestation period.

quale (kwa le) the quality of a thing, especially the quality of a sensation or other conscious process.

qualified, referring to a health professional or health facility that is recognized by an appropriate agency or organization as meeting good standards of performance.

qualitative test (kwol ita tiv) is a test that shows the presence or lack of a substance.

quality assessment measures, is formal, organized evacuation of overall patterns or programs of care, including clinical, consumer, and systems evaluation.

quality factor, referring to the biologic damage radiation can produce.  

quality of  life, a measure of a person's ability to cope successfully with the challenges faced in the real world.

Quant's sign (kwants) a T-shaped depression in the occipital bone, sometimes seen in rickets.

quantitative (kwahn tih ta tiv) means denoting or expressing a quality.

quarantine (kwor un teen) is the isolation of patients with a communicable disease or of those exposed to a communicable disease during the contagious period.

quartan (kwor tun) means happening again on the fourth day, or at about 72-hour intervals.

quarter in die (kwahr ter in de a) means four times a day.

quartisternal (kwor tih ster nl) means pertaining to the fourth sternebra, or bony segment of the sternum opposite the fourth intercostal space.

quasation (kwah say shun) the crushing of drugs, or their reduction to small pieces.

quasidiploid (kwah zih dip loid) having two sets of chromosomes but with an abnormal distribution.

quasispecies (kwah zih spes seez) is a swarm of virus with similar genetic structure sharing a host with other quasispecies of different genetic makeup.

quazepam (kwah zuh pam) is a sedative and hypnotic to treat insomnia.

Quengle cast (kweng gul) is a two-section, hinged plaster cast.

quercetin kwur sitin) a yellow dye found in oak bark, the juice of lemons, asparagus, and other plants.  It is used to reduce abnormal small blood vessel (capillary) weaknesses.

Questran (kwes trun) a trademark for a cholesterol control drug (cholestyramine resin ko luh sti ruh meen ).

quick, rapid. alive.  pregnant and able to feel the fetal movements.

quick connect, a plastic or similar connecting device that is attached to or implanted in a patient who will be joined to an electromechanical apparatus, as an artificial heart.

quickening  the first feeling by a pregnant woman of movement of the baby in her uterus.

quick lime (kwik lime) calcium oxide.

Quick's test,  prothrombin time.

quiescence (kwee s sense) means rest, quietness.

quinacrine hydrochloride (kwin ah krin) is an antiworm anthelmintic (an thel min tic) and  an antimaterial drug.  It is given to treat protozoa and tapeworm infestations, and to treat and suppress malaria.

Quinaglute (kwin uh gloot) is a trademark for a preparation of quinidine (kwin ih deen) gluconate.

Quincke's pulse (kwinn keez) is an abnormal alternate paleness and reddening of the skin seen by pressing the front edge of the fingernail and watching the blood in the nail bed disappear and return.

quinethazone (kwin eh thuh zone) is a diuretic and high blood pressure drug.

quinic acid (kwin ik) a compound found in cinchona bark and in many plants.

Quinidex (kwin ih deks) a trademark for a heart rhythm control drug (quinidine sulfate).

quinidine (kwin ih deen) is an antiarrhythmic drug (an ti ar rith mic).

quinine (kwin in, kwin een) a white, bitter crystal-like alkaloid.  It is made from cinchona (sin ko nuh) bark.  It is used in antimalaria drugs.

Quinora (kwih nor ah) a trademark for a heart rhythm drug (quinidine sulfate).

quintan (kwin tun) happening again on the fifth day, or about 96-hour intervals.

quintipara (kwin tip uh ruh) a woman who has had five pregnancies which resulted in viable offspring.

quintisternal (kwin tih ster nl) indicating the fifth bony portion of the sternum, or the part superior to the xiphoid process and near the fifth intercostal space.

quitor (kwit or) a fistulous sore on the quarters or the coronet of a horse's foot.

quintuplet (kwin tup lit) any one of five offspring born at the same time during a single pregnancy.

quotidian (kwo tid e un) means recurring daily.


rabies (ra beez) an often deadly virus disease of the nervous system.

radicular (ruh dik u lur) means pertaining to a radix or root.

radiculitis (rah dik you lye tis) is an inflammation of the root of a spinal nerve.

radiectomy (ra de ek tuh me) means root removal.

radiocarpal (ra de o kahr pl) means pertaining to the radius and carpus.

radiodense means radiopaque.

radiography (ra de og ruh fe) is the use of x-rays to make images of the internal parts of the body.

radiohumeral (ra de o hu mur ul) means pertaining to the radius and humerus.

radioisotope (ra de o i suh tope) an isotope which is radioactive.

radiolucent (ra de o loo sunt)  is referring to areas that appear dark on the exposed film.

radionuclide (ra de o noo klide) means a radioactive nuclide.

radiopacity (ra de o pas ih te) is the quality or state of being radiopaque.

radiopaque (ra de o pake) is referring to anything that blocks the passing of x-rays or other radiant energy.

radiopharmaceutical, is a drug or chemical containing a radionuclide designed to settle in a specific part of the body.

radiotherapy (ra de o ther uh pe) is a cancer treatment using x-rays or gamma rays. 

radius (ra de us) is one of the two bones of the forearm; the bone of the outer or thumb side of the forearm.

rales (raylz, rawlz) are abnormal breathing sounds heard in the chest with a stethoscope.

ramus (ra mus) a small structure resembling a branch extending from a larger one, such as a branch of a nerve or blood vessel, pl. rami.

raphe (ra fe) is a line that marks the union of the halves of many similar parts of the body, as the raphe penis which appears as a narrow, dark streak on the bottom of the penis.

rarefaction (rar uh fak shun) the state of being or becoming less dense.

Raynaud's phenomenon (ray noze) attacks of ischemia of the fingers, toes, ears, and nose, usually brought on by cold or emotional stimuli.

reapproximate (re uh prok sih mate) means to bring close together again after being separated by surgery or trauma so that the anatomic relationship is restored.

rectal administration, is the injection of medication in the rectum by using either suppositories or liquid solutions.

rectocele (rek tuhseel) a protrusion of the rectum and the back wall of the vagina into the vagina.

rectococcygeal (rek to kok sij e ul) means pertaining to the rectum and the coccyx.

rectosigmoid (rek to sig moid) means the rectum and the sigmoid colon.

rectovestibular (rek to vus tib u ler) means pertaining to or connecting with the rectum and the vestible of the vagina, such as a fistula.

recuperation (re koo pur a shun) the regaining of health and strength.

recurvatum (re kur va tum) back-ward-bending, such as the knee due to weakness of a leg muscle or a joint disorder.

refraction (re frak shun) a test to find and to fix light-focusing problems of the eye.

regurgitation (ree gur jih tay shun) is the return of swallowed food into the mouth.

rehydration (re hi dra shun) the restoring of water or of fluid content to a body or to a substance which has no hydration.

remission, the partial or complete absence of symptoms of a long-term disease.

renal (re nl) means pertaining to a kidney or the kidneys.

resilience (ruh zil yuns) being able to recuperate quickly from an illness.

rete (re te) a general term to denote a network, particularly of arteries or veins.

reticular (ruh tik u lur) pertaining to or similar to a net, network or reticulum.

reticulocyte (reh tick you lo site) is an immature red blood cell marked by a mesh-like pattern of threads.

retina (ret in nah) is a sensitive inner nerve tissue membrane of the eye.

retinitis (ret ih nigh tis) is inflammation of the retina.

retinoblastoma (ret inoblasto mah) is a genetic cancerous tumor growing from retinal (eye) germ cells.

retinol (ret inol) a type of vitamin A found in the retinas of the eyes of mammals.  It is also called vitamin A1

retinopathy (ret inop uhthe) is an eye disorder with no inflammation that occurs from changes in the
eye(retinal) blood vessels. 

retinopexy (ret ih no pek see) is the surgical fixing of a detached retina by using a laser beam.

retinoscope (ret in no skope) an instrument used to perform retinoscopy.

rhabdomyoma (rab do mi o muh) is a benign tumor originating from striated muscle.

rhabdomyosarcoma (rab do mi o sahr ko ma) is a cancer that occurs most often in the head and neck.  It is also found in the sex organs and urinary tract, legs and arms, body wall, and abdomen.

rhabdosarcoma (rab do sahr ko ma) is also rhabdomyosarcoma.

rheumatoid arthritis (roo ma toid) a long-term disease that destroys connective tissue and that results from the body refusing its own tissue cells.

rhinitis (rye nigh tis) means inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose.

rhinoplasty (rye no plas tee) is surgical repair of the nose.

rhinorrhea (ri no re ah) is the free discharge of mucus from the nose.

rhytidectomy, (rit ih deck toh me), also known as a facelift, is surgical removal of excess skin to get rid of wrinkles.

rhonchi (rong ki) are sounds that are not normal that are heard in an airway obstructed by thick fluids, muscle spasms, tumors, or outside pressure.

rhonchus (rong kus), also known as a wheeze, is an abnormal breathing sound heard when the airway is blocked by thick secretions, a muscular spasm, a neoplasm, or external pressure.

rickets, is a disease due to the lack of vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus, seen most often in infants and children.

rickettsia (rih ket see ah) is a small bacterium that lives inside the cells of lice, fleas, ticks, and mites.  They carry the infection to humans.

rigor (rig ur, rih gur) means stiffness or not flexible, mainly that which is abnormal or morbid.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever, It is an example of a disease caused by rickettsia that is transferred by a tick bite.

rods, these are specialized cells inside the retina that are sensitive to light.

roentgen (rent jun) is the amount of x-rays or gamma rays.  In radiology it is the unit of the discharged doses.

rotation is a circular movement around an axis.

rotator muscle rotates a body part on its axis.

rubella (roo bell ah) is a contagious viral infection known as German measles or theree-day measles. The symptoms are fever and a fine, red rash that spreads.

rugae (roo gay) are uneven ridges or folds in the mucous membrane.


sacrococcygeal (sa kro kok sij e ul) means pertaining to or located in the region of the sacrum and coccyx.

sacroiliac (sak ro ill ee ak) is the slightly movable joint between the ilium and the sacrum.

sacrum (say krum) is a large slightly curved, triangle-shaped bone at the top part of the pelvis.

sagittal (saj ih tul) means situated in the plane of the sagittal suture or parallel to it; as of the anteroposterior plane or section parallel to the median plane of the body.

salivary glands, (sal ih var e) are exocrine glands, glands with ducts, that make saliva.  There are three pairs of salivary glands.  The parotid glands (pah rot id) are found on the face in front of and slightly lower than each ear.  The sublingual glands (sub ling gwul) are found under the tongue, and the submandibular glands (sub man dib u lur) are found on the floor of the mouth.

salmonellosis (sal moh ne loh sis), also known as salmonella, is caused by eating food polluted with a species of Salmonella.  The symptoms are sudden abdominal pain, fever, and bloody, watery diarrhea. 

salpingectomy (sal pin jeck toh me) is surgical removal of a fallopian tube.

salpingitis (sal pin jigh tis) is inflammation of a fallopian tube.

salpingocele (sal ping go seel) is a hernia protruding from the tube of the uterus.

sanguine (sang win) means plethoric or containing excessive blood.

sarcoma (sar ko ma) is a life-threatening tumor of the soft tissues springing up from supportive and connective tissue such as bone, fat, muscle, bone marrow, and lymphatic tissue.

satiety (suh tie uh tee) is the feeling of being fully satisfied after eating and drinking.

scabies (skay beez) is a skin infection caused by the itch mite.

scapula (skap u luh) is the flat, triangular bone in the back of the shoulder; the shoulder blade.

schizoid (schiz oid, skit soid) means marked by or resulting from excessive shyness, sensitivity, social withdrawl, and introversion.  It is also typical or resembling schizophrenia.

sciatica (sigh at ih kah) is inflammation of the sciatic nerve that may come about as pain along the course of the nerve through the thigh and leg.

sclera (sklehr ah), also known as the white of the eye, is a fibrous tissue that holds the shape of the eye and protects the fine inner layers of tissue.

scleritis (skleh rye tis) is an inflammation of the sclera.

scleroderma (skleer o der ma) is a fairly rare disease causing chronic hardening and thickening of the skin.

scoliosis (sko lee oh sis) is an abnormal sideways curvature of the spine.

scotoma (sko toh mah) is an area of lost or depressed vision surrounded by an area of normal vision.

scrotum (skroh tum), also known as the scrotal sac, is an outer sac that encloses and supports the testes.

scurvy (skur ve) is a disease caused by insufficient vitamin C in the diet and marked by weakness, anemia, edema, spongy gums, often with open sores in the mouth and loose teeth, bleeding in the mucous membranes, and hard bumps of the muscles of the legs

sebaceous glands (seh bay shus) are oil secreting glands.

seborrhea (seb oh ree ah) is any of several skin conditions in which there is excess production of sebum.

sebum (see bum) is the oily substance released by the sebaceous glands.

sedative (sed uh tiv) is a drug that slows down or calms the patient.

seizure (see zhur) is a sudden, violent uncontrollable contraction of a group of muscles.

sella turcica (sell ah tur sih kah) is a depression in the upper area of the sphenoid bone that protects the pituitary gland.

semimembranous (sem e mem bruh nus) means made up in part of membrane and fascia.

seminiferous tubules (see mih nif er ous) are channels in the testis in which the spermatozoa develop and through which they leave the gland.

seminal vesicles (sem ih nal) are glands located at the base of the urinary bladder that open into the vas deferens as it unites with the urethra.

sepsis (sep sis) means infection or contamination.

septicemia (sep tih see me ah), also known as blood poisoning, is an infection of the entire body brought on by germs that spread from an infected part of the body through the bloodstream.

septoplasty (sep toh plas tee) is the surgical repair of the nasal septum.

sequestrectomy (see kwes treck toh me) is the surgical removal of the sequestrum.

sequestrum (sikwes trum) is a fragment of dead bone that is partly or fully broken free from the nearby healthy bone.

serology (see rol oh jee) is the laboratory study of serum and the reactions between antigens and antibodies.

serotonin (ser uh toh nin) is a hormone found naturally in the brain and intestines.

serum ( see rum) the clear, thin , sticky liquid part of the blood that remains after clotting.

shigellosis (shih gel loh sis) is an acute infection of the bowel brought on by a bacterium of the Shigella species.  The symptoms are diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.

sialadenitis (sigh al ad eh nigh tis) is an inflammation of a salivary gland.

sickle-cell anemia is a serious, long-term, incurable blood disease that invades the red blood cells. The symptoms are joint pain, blood clots, fever, and long-term anemia, with enlargement of the spleen, lack of energy, and weakness.

sigmoid colon (sig moid) is the third major part of the large intestine.  It is continuous above with the descending colon and below with the rectum.

sigmoidoscopy (sig moi dos koh pe) is the direct examination of the rectum and the sigmoid colon with the help of a special instrument (sigmoidoscope).
silicosis (sill ih koh sis), also known as grinder's disease, is the result of silica dust or glass in the lungs.

Sim's position, the Sim's position is used in the examination and treatment of the rectal area.  The patient is on the left side of the chest, with the right knee and right thigh drawn up.  The left arm is placed along the back.

singultus (sing gul tus), also known as hiccups, is a sound produced by the involuntary contraction of the diaphragm.

sinusitis (sigh nuh sigh tis) is an inflammation of the sinuses.

somnambulism, (som nam byou lizm) also known as noctambulism or sleepwalking, is the condition of walking without awakening.

somnolence (som no lens) means sleepiness and an unnatural drowsiness.

sonogram (son o gram) the resulting record obtained by ultrasonic scanning.

spasm, also known as a cramp, is a sudden, violent, involuntary contraction of a muscle or a group of muscles.

spasticity (spas tis ih tee) refers to uncontrolled contractions of the skeletal muscles.

speculum (speck you lum) is an instrument similar to a duck's bill that is used to widen the opening of a canal or cavity, such as  the vagina, to make it easier to inspect its interior.

spermatic cord (spur mat ik) This is a cord-like structure in males consisting of the vas deferens and surrounding tissue that run from the abdomen down to each testicle.

spina bifida (spi nuh bif ih dah) is a developmental congenital failure of the spinal canal to close the spinal cord because of a lack of union of the laminae of the vertebrae.

spirochete (spy roh keet) is a kind of bacterium that may cause diseases in humans.

spondylolisthesis (spon dih loh lis thee sis) is the partial displacement of one vertebra over the one under it.

stoma (sto ma) is an opening on a body surface.  A stoma may come about naturally, for example a pore in the skin, or it may be surgically created.


tachycardia (tack ee kar dee ah) is an abnormally fast heartbeat.

tactile (tak til) means pertaining to touch.

tardive dyskinesia (tahr div dis kih nee zee ah) is a side effect of long-term treatment with certain antipsychotic drugs.  Tardive means lateness in appearance. Dyskinesia means damage of the power of voluntary motion resulting in partial movements such as involuntary chewing motions. 

tarsadenitis (tahr sad eh nigh tis) is an inflammation of the edge of the eyelid.

tarsals (tahr salz) are the bones that make up the ankles.

tarsorrhaphy (tar sor ah fee) is the suturing or stitching of the upper and lower eyelids to shorten the opening of the eyelids.  The tarsorrhaphy may be a partial one or a total tarsorrhaphy.

Tay-Sachs disease (ta saks) is a genetic disease characterized by progressive physical deterioration, mental retardation, and early death.

teletherapy (tel eh ther ah pe) is radiation therapy given out by a machine positioned at some distance from the patient.

temporomandibular joint (tem poh roh man dib you lar) is a joint pertaining to the temporal bone and the mandible (lower jaw bone).

tenalgia, (ten al jee ah) also known as tenodynia, (ten oh din ee ah) means pain in a tendon.

tendinitis (ten dih nigh tis), also known as tendonitis (ten doh nigh tis), is inflammation of a tendon.

tenectomy (tee nek toh me) is the surgical removal of a lesion of a tendon or a tendon sheath.

tenodesis (ten odd eh sis) means to suture the end of a tendon to bone.

tenolysis (ten ol ih sis) means to free a tendon from adhesions.

tenonectomy (ten oh neck toh me) is the surgical removal of part of a tendon for the purpose of shortening it.

tenoplasty (ten oh plas tee), also known as tendoplasty, is the surgical repair of a tendon.

tenorrhaphy (ten or ah fee) is the suturing or stitching of a divided tendon.

terminal end fibers are the branching fibers of the neuron that lead the nervous impulse away from the axon and toward the synapse (sin apps).

testes (tes tez), also known as testicles (tes tih kulz), are the two small ovid glands that produce spermatozoa (sper muh to zo uh).

testitis (test tye tis), also known as orchitis (or kye tis), is an inflammation of a testis.

testosterone (tes tos tuh rone) is the hormone that is secreted by the testes that stimulates the development of male secondary sex characteristics.

tetanus (tet ah nus), also known as lockjaw, is an acute and potentially fatal bacterial infection of the central nervous system caused by the tetanus bacillus.

tetany (tet ah nee) is a syndrome characterized by sharp flexion (bending) of the wrist and ankle joints, muscle twitching, cramps, and convulsions.

thalamus (thal ah mus) one of a pair of large, oval organs forming part of the brain.

thalassemia (thal ah see me ah), also known as Cooley's anemia, is a disease characterized by abnormal and short-lived red blood cells.

thermography (ther mog rah fee) is a method for sensing and recording on film the body's surface temperature ,hot and cold areas, by means of an infrared detector that reacts  to blood flow.

thoracotomy (thoh rah kot toh me) is a surgical incision into the wall of the chest.

thoracocentesis (thoh rah koh sen tee sis) is the puncture of the chest wall with a needle to obtain fluid from the pleural (ploor ul) cavity for diagnostic purposes, to drain pleural effusions, or to re-expand a collapsed lung.

thoracostomy (thoh rah kos toh me) is the surgical creation of a mouth or opening into the chest.

thrombocytes (throm boh sites), also known as platelets, are the smallest formed elements of the blood.

thrombosis (throm bo sis) is an abnormal condition in which a blood clot or thrombus develops within a blood vessel.  A thrombus is a blood clot attached to the interior wall of a vein or artery.

thrombotic occlusion (throm bot ick ah kloo zhun) is the blocking of an artery by a clot.

thrombus (throm bus) is a blood clot attached to the inner wall of a vein or artery.

thymectomy (thigh meck toh me) is the surgical removal of the thymus gland.

thymitis (thigh my tis) is an inflammation of the thymus gland.

thymus (thigh mus) is an organ made largely up of lymphatic tissue and is located in the anterior portion of the chest above the heart.

thyroidectomy (thigh roi deck toh me) is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland.

thyroiditis (thigh roi dye tis) is an inflammation of the thyroid gland.

thyrotoxicosis (thy roh tock sih koh sis) is a life-threatening condition resulting from the presence of too much quantities of the thyroid hormones.

thyroxine (thi rok sin) the major hormone that regulates the rate of metabolism and influence physical and mental development.

tic douloureux (tick doo loo roo), also known as trigeminal neuralgia or trifocal neuralgia
(tri jem ih nul or tri fo kul), is an inflammation of the trigeminal (fifth cranial) nerve.  The symptoms are sudden, intense, sharp pain on one side of the face. 

tinea (tin ee ah), also known as ringworm, is a fungus that may affect the skin on different areas of the body.

tinnitus (tih nigh tus) is a sound of ringing in the ears.

tonometer (to nom uh tur) is an instrument used to measure intraocular pressure.

tonsillectomy (ton sih leck toh me) is the surgical removal of the tonsils.

tonsillitis (ton sih lye tis) is an inflammation of the tonsils.

tonus (toh nus) is also known as muscle tone.  It is the normal state of balanced tension present in the body when one is awake.

torticollis (tor tih kol is), also known as wryneck, is a stiff neck due to spasmodic contraction of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, causing the head to be pulled to the affected side.

toxic shock syndrome is a severe staphylococcus (staf uh lo kok us) infection, most common in menstruating women; however it does not occur in other females.

trachea (tray kee ah), commonly known as the windpipe, is a tube that extends from the neck into the chest, directly in front of the esophagus.  Air passes from the larynx to the trachea.

tracheitis (tray kee eye tis) is an inflammation of the trachea.

tracheostomy (tray kee os toh me) is cutting an opening into the trachea and inserting a tube to facilitate the passage of air or the removal of secretions.

trachoma (trah koh mah) is a contagious disease of the conjunctiva and cornea.

tremor (trem ur, tre mur) is involuntary shaking or trembling of the body or any of its parts.

tretinoin (tret ih noin) is a drug used to treat ance.

triacetin (tri as uh tin) is an antifungus drug used to treat surface fungus infections of the skin, including athlete's foot.

triprolidine hydrochloride (tri pro lih deen) is an antihistamine, given to treat many allergic reactions, including stuffy nose, skin rash, and itching.

trocar (tro kar) is a sharp, pointed surgical instrument that fits inside a hollow tube called a cannula (kan you lah).

tympanectomy (tim pah neck toh me) is the surgical removal of the tympanic membrane.

typhoid fever (ti foid), also known as enteric (en ter ik) fever, is a bacterial infection usually caused by Salmonella typhi (ti fee).  The symptoms are headache, delirium, cough, watery diarrhea, rash, and high fever.


ulcer is a craterlike skin or mucous membrane lesion.

ulcerative colitis (ul suray tiv) is a chronic, inflammatory disease of the large intestine and rectum, chararacterized by profuse watery  diarrhea containing blood, mucus, and pus.

ulcerative stomatitis (sto ma tie tis) is an infectious disease of the mouth.  It is marked by swollen, spongy gums, sores, and loose teeth.  Also called trench mouth, ulceromembranous stomatitis, Vincent's angina.

ulocarcinoma (yoo lokr sino muh) is cancer of the gums.

ultraviolet (UV) light, light rays that are beyond the range of human vision.

umbilical fistula (um bil ih kul fis tu lah) an abnormal passage from the umbilicus to the intestine or another internal structure.

umbo (umbo) a landmark on the eardrum created by the attachment of the eardrum to the first small bone in the middle ear.

undecylenic acid (un des ul en ik) is an antifungus drug.  It is given to treat athlete's foot and ringworm.

undescended testis  is failure of one or both of the testicles to move down into the scrotum.

-uracil (yoor uh sil) is a combining form for uracil derivatives used as anticancer drugs and to counteract the effect of thyroid hormone.

urate (yoor ate) is any salt of uric acid.  Urates are found in the urine, blood, and tophi (to fi) or stonelike deposits in tissues.  They may also be deposited as crystals in body joints.

uremic frost (yoo re mik) is a pale, frostlike deposit of white crystals on the skin caused by kidney failure and uremia (yoo re me ah)
ureter (yoo re tur) one of a pair of tubes that carry the urine from the kidneys into the bladder.

ureterotomy (yoor e turot ah me) is a surgical incision of a ureter.

ureterocele (yoo ree tuhroseel) is a slipping out of place (prolapse) of a portion of the ureter into the bladder.  This may block the flow of urine and lead to loss of kidney function.

urethritis (yoor e thritis) is an inflammation of the urethra, often caused by infection in the bladder or kidneys.

urethrocele (yoore thruhseel) in women is a herniation of the urethra.  There is a bulging of a segment of the urethra and the connective tissue surrounding it into the wall of the vagina.

uricaciduria (yoor ikas idoor e a) is a more than normal amount of uric acid in the urine, often linked to kidney stones or gout.

urinary calculus, a mineral deposit (stone) formed in the urinary tract, including the bladder.

urinary sediment, solid matter that settles to the bottom of a urine sample that has been left standing for several hours.