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


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  • pectus excavatum

    A defect of the sternum that’s present at birth.

  • pectus carinatum

    An abnormally prominent sternum or breastbone. Also called pigeon breast.

  • pectoral

    Having to do with the chest or breast.

  • pathology

    The study of changes caused by disease.

  • pathogen

    Any agent that causes disease.

  • patella

    The kneecap.

  • pasteurization

    Heating milk or other substances to a temperature of 140§F for 30 minutes to kill harmful bacteria.

  • paroxysm

    A sudden attack, or raised level of intensity, of symptoms.

  • parotid glands

    The largest of the salivary glands, located near the ears.

  • Parkinson's disease

    A progressive disease of the brain. Characterized by tremors and muscle stiffness.

  • paresthesia

    An abnormal sensation of burning or prickling on the skin, caused by a disorder of the nervous system.

  • paresis

    Partial or slight loss of feeling or movement.

  • parenteral

    Inside the body, but outside the intestines.

  • parathyroid glands

    Two pair of small glands situated next to or in the thyroid gland that are involved in the metabolism of…

  • paraspadias

    A developmental abnormality in which the urethra opens along one side of the penis.

  • parasite

    An organism that lives on or in the tissues of another organism and draws its nourishment from the host.

  • paraplegia

    Inability to feel or move the legs.

  • paranoia

    A mental disorder characterized by a belief that others are out to get you.

  • paranasal sinuses

    The mucosa-lined cavities in the bones of the skull that open into the passages of the nose.

  • paralysis

    Inability to move parts of the body.

  • parainfluenza virus

    One of a group of viruses that cause a variety of upper respiratory diseases.