Dictionary of Medical Terms

Gain a better understanding of medical terminology by searching our dictionary of more than 1,300 terms.

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  • Abdomen

    The part of the body between the chest and pelvis.

  • Abortion

    1. Induced abortion is a procedure done to end pregnancy. 2. Spontaneous abortion is a naturally occurring abortion (also called…

  • Abrasion

    A wound caused by scraping the skin. A “skinned knee” is a common example.

  • abscess

    A swollen, inflamed area where pus gathers.

  • Absorption

    To take in substances through the skin or mucous membranes.

  • Abstinence

    To hold back or restrain. For example, to refrain from the use of drugs or alcohol, or from having sexual…

  • Acclimation

    The process of getting used to a new climate or altitude.

  • Achilles' tendon

    The strong tendon at the back of the ankle that attaches the calf muscle to the heel.

  • Acidosis

    An abnormal condition in the body in which excessive acid lowers the pH of the blood and body tissues.

  • Acne

    A skin disorder usually found in adolescents and young adults.

  • Acoustic

    Having to do with sound and hearing.

  • Acromegaly

    A condition that occurs when the pituitary gland produces too much growth hormone. In adults, this can cause overgrowth of…

  • actinic keratosis

    Scaly, pink, gray or tan patches or bumps on the face or scalp, or on the back of the hands…

  • acupuncture

    An ancient Chinese method to relieve pain or treat disease by inserting needles into various parts of the body.

  • Acute

    1. Of short course. 2. Severe, but of a short duration. Not chronic.

  • Addiction

    Strong dependence or habitual use of a substance or practice, despite the negative consequences of its use.

  • Addison's disease

    An ailment characterized by underfunctioning of the adrenal glands. Characterized by anemia, weakness, low blood pressure and brownish discoloration of…

  • adenitis

    Swelling of a gland.

  • adenoids

    Glandular tissue in the back of the throat that may swell, especially during childhood, obstruct breathing and speaking, and lead…

  • adenoma

    A noncancerous tumor of glandular tissue.

  • adenovirus

    One of the viruses that cause the common cold.