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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All terms that start with the letter S
  • sac

    Pouch; a bag-like structure.

  • saccharin

    A compound that’s hundreds of times sweeter than table sugar. Used as an artificial sweetener.

  • sacroiliac

    Having to do with the joint formed by the sacrum and the ilium in the lower back.

  • saliva

    An enzyme-containing thin, watery secretion of the salivary glands.

  • salivary gland

    Any one of the three pairs of glands of the mouth (parotid, submaxillary and sublingual) that release saliva.

  • salmonella

    A form of food poisoning characterized by fever and intestinal disorder due to Salmonella bacteria.

  • salve


  • sanguineous


  • scabies

    An itchy, contagious skin condition caused by mites.

  • scapula

    The shoulder blade.

  • scarlet fever

    Fever and skin reaction caused by certain strains of streptococcus bacteria, usually following a streptococcal infection of the throat, middle…

  • schizophrenia

    A chronic mental disorder characterized by an inability to differentiate reality from fantasy. Often associated with hallucinations or delusions.

  • sciatica

    Pain or inflammation going from the back to the buttock along the sciatic nerve.

  • sclera

    The tough white covering of the eyeball.

  • scleritis

    Inflammation of the sclera, causing pain, redness and possible loss of vision. Can be a complication of rheumatoid arthritis.

  • scleroderma

    A chronic disease characterized by hardening or thickening of the skin due to abnormal tissue growth.

  • sclerosis


  • scotoma

    A blind spot in an area of otherwise normal vision.

  • scratch test

    A test for allergies in which small amounts of potential allergens are inserted in small scratches made in the…

  • scrotum

    The skin-covered sac that contains the testes.

  • scurvy

    A condition caused by vitamin C deficiency. Symptoms include loss of appetite, bleeding gums, bruising, inability to gain weight and…