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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  • zygote

    A fertilized ovum (egg).

  • zoster

    A viral infection of certain sensory nerves that causes pain and an eruption of blisters on the skin along the…

  • zoonosis

    A disease that can be spread to people by animals.

  • yellow fever

    An acute viral illness spread by mosquito bites. Characterized by fever and jaundice.

  • yeast

    A single-celled fungus that reproduces by budding and may lead to infections of the skin or other moist areas.

  • xeroderma

    Dryness of the skin.

  • xenograft

    Transplantation of tissue or organs from an individual of one species to another unrelated species, such as a pig’s heart…

  • xanthoma

    A tumor-like deposit of fatty substances in the skin.

  • xanthelasma

    Fatty deposits that appear as yellowish patches, or plaques, under the skin, often appearing in or near the eyelids.

  • wrist

    The joint or part of the arm between the hand and the forearm.

  • withdrawal

    The act or process of giving up the use of a drug to which one has become addicted or…

  • Wilson's disease

    A rare, inherited disorder that occurs when copper pools in the red blood cells. May cause tremors, muscle rigidity, speech…

  • Wilms' tumor

    A rapidly growing tumor of the kidney found in children.

  • whooping cough

    A serious infectious respiratory disease of children. Named for the distinctive whooping sound made by the patient after a coughing…

  • whiplash

    An injury of the neck or spine due to a sudden, severe bending of the neck.

  • wheeze

    A whistling or squeaky breathing sound caused by the narrowing (constriction) or blocking of the airway.

  • wheal

    A pimple or small itchy elevation of the skin caused by an allergen.

  • wart

    A small, hard, abnormal growth of the skin or mucous membranes caused by a virus.

  • vulva

    The external parts of the female reproductive tract surrounding the opening to the vagina.

  • vomiting

    Ejecting the contents of the stomach through the mouth.

  • vitreous humor

    The jelly-like material that fills the eyeball between the lens and retina.