Dictionary

Enter a word or phrase below to search our online dictionary of over 1,300 general medical terms, or click on a letter of the alphabet to view all terms beginning with that letter:

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Search for 'D'

Phrase Definition
D and C Dilatation and curettage. A surgical procedure in which the uterine lining is removed by scraping.
dacryocystitis Inflammation of the sac that collects tears for drainage from the eye.
dandruff Little scales or flakes of dead skin on the scalp. Also called seborrheic dermatitis.
debridement Removal of foreign material or dead tissue.
decalcification Loss of calcium from the bones or teeth.
decidua The mucus lining of the uterus that's passed after childbirth or during the menstrual period.
decubitus A skin ulcer or bedsore.
defibrillator A machine that delivers an electrical shock to an irregularly beating heart to restore normal rhythm.
degenerative joint disease A common form of arthritis in which tissue changes occur in one or more joints, such as swelling, lumps or cysts, or small pieces of loose bone and cartilage, which cause stiffness and pain. Also called osteoarthritis.
dehydration Excessive loss of body water resulting in weakness, dizziness and other symptoms. It can be life-threatening if not treated, especially in young children and babies.
delirium An abnormal mental state characterized by excitement and hallucinations.
deltoid The triangular muscle of the shoulder.
delusion A false belief.
dementia Progressive mental deterioration.
dentition Arrangement of the teeth.
dependence A state of absolute need, both physical and psychological.
depilatory A substance that temporarily removes hair from the skin.
depression Decreased functional activity. Sinking of spirits. Intense sadness, beyond what's normally expected.
dermabrasion A procedure that removes scars, tattoos or other skin defects with fine sandpaper or a high-speed brush.
dermatitis Inflammation of the skin.
dermatology A medical specialty that deals with the skin.
desensitization Reducing or eliminating sensitivity to a particular substance.
desquamation The shedding of cells from the surface of the skin or mucous membranes.
devascularization Interruption of blood circulation to part of the body.
dextrose A simple sugar. Glucose.
diabetes insipidus Loss of water through the kidneys as a result of decreased production of the pituitary hormone vasopressin (an antidiuretic hormone).
diabetes mellitus A disorder of carbohydrate metabolism resulting from insulin deficiency. Characterized by high blood sugar levels that result in weakness, frequent urination and increased thirst and hunger.
diagnose To identify a disease.
diagnosis The process of identifying a disease or medical condition.
dialysis A treatment to remove certain molecules from the blood, particularly in people with kidney failure.
diaphoresis Excessive sweating.
diaphragm 1. The dome-shaped respiratory muscle separating the chest from the abdomen. 2. A barrier contraceptive device molded to fit over the cervix.
diarrhea Production of feces in increased volume and with greater fluidity than normal.
diastole The relaxation phase of the heartbeat.
diastolic Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure when your heart relaxing between beats and filling with blood.
diet The total food consumed by an individual. A therapeutic diet is a prescription of required or restricted foods.
dietitian An expert who is trained in the use of diet and nutrition to maintain or restore health.
digestion The mechanical and chemical conversion of food into simpler compounds that can be absorbed by the body.
digit A finger or toe.
dilation The process of expanding or enlarging.
diphtheria An infectious disease of childhood characterized by fever, sore throat and the presence of "dirty" (white, gray, brown) membranes in the throat.
diplopia Double vision.
discoid lupus erythematosus A round, red, scaling rash on the nose, forehead, cheeks, scalp or other areas of the body. It may be associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.
disinfectant A chemical agent used to destroy microorganisms on inanimate objects.
disk A round, flat structure, particularly the fibrous cartilage layer between two vertebrae (the bones that make up the spine). Also called intervertebral disk.
diskectomy Removal of an intervertebral disk of the spine.
dislocation Displacement of a bone from a joint.
disorientation Mental confusion, especially of time, place or person.
distal A location farther from a point of reference. For example, the foot is distal to the knee, relative to the center of the body.
diuresis Increased elimination of urine.
diverticula Pouches or sacs opening out from a main cavity or tubular organ of the body.
diverticulitis Inflammation of small pouches that may form on the wall of the colon.
diverticulosis A condition in which pouches form on the wall of the colon.
dorsal Toward the back.
douche A flow of liquid or vapor directed onto or into a part of the body.
Down syndrome A genetic disorder characterized by some degree of mental retardation and by various physical malformations, such as slanted eyes and a broad face.
DPT A vaccine containing antigens from diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus.
dressing A bandage for an external wound.
dropsy Abnormal buildup of fluid in tissues or a body cavity.
duct A channel or passage through which fluids move.
duodenal Having to do with the duodenum.
duodenum The first part of the small intestine that begins at the stomach and is the entry point for the pancreatic and common bile duct.
Dupuytren's contracture Scarring of the palmar ligament in the hand, causing progressive curling of one or more fingers and a thickening of the palm.
dwarfism A deficiency of growth hormone resulting in short stature.
dysentery Infection of the intestine resulting in severe diarrhea and cramps, frequently associated with blood or mucus in the stools.
dysmenorrhea Painful menstruation.
dyspepsia Indigestion.
dysphagia Difficulty swallowing.
dyspnea Labored breathing.