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Medical Word Parts: m

Word PartDefinition
MAmental age
macerationSoftening of a solid by soaking in a liquid.
macrocephalyAbnormally large head.
macrocheiliaAbnormally large lips.
macrodactylyAbnormally large fingers or toes.
macrodontiaAbnormally large teeth.
macroglossiaEnlargement of the tongue, which may be congenital or may develop as a result of a tumor or edema, or in association with hyperpituitarism.
macrognathiaAbnormally large jaw.
macromeliaAbnormally large arms or legs.
macrophageA type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. It digests targeted cells and cellular debris.
macrostomiaAbnormally large mouth.
macula luteaAn oval, yellow spot in the retina, 3 to 5 mm in diameter It is devoid of retinal blood vessels, except in its periphery.
macularDenoting the central retina.
macular degenerationDegenerative changes in the retina usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field.
maculeSmall flat skin spots on the skin.
maculopathyAny pathologic condition of the macula lutea.
madarosisLoss or underdevelopment of eyelashes or eyebrows.
maggotLarva of a fly.
magnetic resonance imagingNon-invasive method of imaging internal anatomy a strong magnetic field and pulses of radiofrequency energy. Effective for imaging soft tissue, organs and joints.
mal-bad, deficient
malabsorptionInadequate intestinal absorption of nutrients.
malaiseA general feeling of illness or discomfort or feeling unhealthy.
malariaA serious parasitic disease caused by mosquito bites. Symptoms include chills, flu-like symptoms, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and jaundice.
malformationAn abnormal physical structure in the body.
malignant melanomaThe most dangerous form of skin cancer. Melanomas are usually brown or black, but can appear pink, tan, or even white.
malingeringFaking symptoms for personal gain or attention.
malleolusThe bony prominence on either side of the ankle.
malleusThe largest and outermost of the three ossicles of the ear. Also called hammer.
malnutritionA condition caused by insufficient intake of nutrients.
malocclusionFaulty contact between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed.
malpracticeFailure to render proper professional services through reprehensible ignorance or negligence especially when injury occurs.
malunionFaulty alignment of broken bone fragments.
mammary glandMilk producing gland.
mammographyRadiographic examination of the breast.
mammoplastyPlastic surgery of the breasts.
mandibleThe large, u-shaped bone that supports the lower teeth, forming the lower jaw.
mandibul/omandible (lower jaw bone)
maniaAn abnormally excessive elated, enthusiastic mental state.
-maniaobsession with
manometerA device for measuring gas or liquid pressure.
manubriumThe uppermost part of the sternum.
MAPmean arterial pressure
marsupialization A surgical procedure for treating cysts. The cyst is widely opened creating a pouch.
-masesischewing, mastication
masseter muscleThe thick rectangular muscle in the cheek that functions to close the jaw.
mastalgiaBreast pain.
mastectomySurgical procedure to remove one or both breasts.
masticationThe process of chewing and grinding food in the mouth.
mastocytomaA solid tumor consisting of a dense infiltration of mast cells.
mastocytosisDisorders characterized by the abnormal increase of mast cells in organs and tissues.
mastodyniaPain in the breast.
mastoid/orounded protrusion of bone behind the ear
mastoidectomySurgical removal of mastoid air cells in the hollow, air-filled spaces in the skull behind the ear.
mastoiditisInflammation of the mastoid air cells It is usually a complication of otitis media.
mastopexyBreast lift surgery.
masturbationSexual self-gratification.
maxill/oupper jawbone formed from the fusion of two maxillary bones
maxillaOne of a pair of irregularly shaped bones that form the upper jaw.
maxillofacialPertaining to the jaws and face.
MBCmaximum breathing capacity
MBDminimal brain dysfunction
mcmCi millicurie
MCHmean corpuscular hemoglobin
MCVmean corpuscular volume
MDmuscular dystrophy
MDImetered-dose inhaler
measlesAn acute, contagious viral disease characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Usually occurs in childhood.
meat/oa natural opening
meatusAn opening or passage.
medialToward the body's midline
median nerveA major nerve of the arm, suppling sensory and motor innervation to parts of the forearm and hand.
mediastinalPertaining to a median septum or space between two parts of the body.
mediastinitisInflammation of the mediastinum.
mediastinumThe central section of the chest cavity, containing the heart, arteries, veins, esophagus, trachea, bronchi, lymph nodes and thymus.
medicareFederal program that provides health insurance benefits to persons over the age of 65 and others eligible for Social Security benefits. It consists of hospital insurance (Part A) and supplementary medical insurance (Part B).
meditationA state of focusing on a single thing, eliminating influences of external stimuli.
medull/omedulla, marrow
medullaThe inner region of an organ or body structure.
medulla oblongataThe lower portion of the brain stem. Medulla oblongata serves as a relay station between the brain and the spinal cord, and contains centers for regulating respiratory, vasomotor, cardiac, and reflex activities.
medulloblastomaA malignant neoplasm that may be classified either as a glioma or as a primitive neuroectodermal tumor of childhood.
mega-large, great
megacolonExtreme dilatation of the colon.
megaloblastic anemiaA blood disorder in which the number of red blood cells is too low due to abnormally large red blood cell size. Can also be called vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency anemia.
megaloblastsRed blood cell precursors that are abnormally large and dysfunctional. Found in patients with pernicious anemia.
megalomaniaDelusions of grandeur or exaggerated personal importance, wealth or power.
meibomian glandsThe small sebaceous glands located on the inner surface of the eyelids between the tarsal plates and conjunctiva.
meiosisA type of cell division in which a nucleus divides into four daughter nuclei
melan/oblack, dark
melanomaA malignant, rapidly growing neoplasm derived from cells that are capable of forming melanin, which may occur in the skin of any part of the body, in the eye, or, rarely, in the mucous membranes of the genitalia, anus, oral cavity, or other sites.
melanosisDisorders of increased melanin pigmentation that develop without preceding inflammatory disease.
melatoninA hormone produced by the pineal gland. It plays a role in the regulation of sleep, mood, and reproduction.
melenaThe black, tarry, foul-smelling feces that contain degraded blood.
meli-honey, sugar
membraneThin layers of tissue which covers parts of the body, separates adjacent cavities, or connects adjacent structures.
memoryThe mental functions of learning, retention, recall and recognition.
men/omenstruation, menses
menarcheThe first menstrual period.
meningesThe three membranes that envelop the brain and the spinal cord.
meningiomaA relatively common neoplasm of the central nervous system.
meningitisAn acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. May be viral or bacterial.
meningoceleSurgery to repair birth defects of the spine and spinal membranes.
meniscusCrescent-shaped cartilage inside the knee joint that absorb shock and stabilize the joint.
menopauseThe permanent cessation of menstruation.
menorrhagiaExcessive uterine bleeding during menstruation.
mensesBlood and tissue discharged from the uterus periodically.
menstrual cycleThe period from onset of one menstrual bleeding to the next in an ovulating female. The menstrual cycle is regulated by endocrine interactions of the hypothalamus; the pituitary gland; the ovaries; and the genital tract.
menstruationThe (approximately) monthly discharge of blood and cellular debris from the uterus by nonpregnant women, occurring from puberty to menopause.
mentholAn alcohol produced from mint oils or prepared synthetically.
MEPmaximal expiratory pressure
mEq/Lmilliequivalent per liter
-mersmallest unit of a repeating structure, member of a particular group
mer/opart, partial
merkel cellsModified epidermal cells located in the stratum basale (the innermost layer of the epidermis). They are found mostly in areas where sensory perception is acute, such as the fingertips.
mes-middle, mean
mesentericRelating to the double layer of peritoneum suspending the intestine from the posterior abdominal wall.
mesenteryA double layer of peritoneum that encloses the intestines and attaches them to the posterior abdominal wall.
mesomorphicHaving a robust, muscular body build.
meta-beyond, change
metabolismThe chemical reactions that occur within the cells, tissues or an organism.
metacarpalsThe long bones in the hand located between the phalanges of the fingers and the carpal bones of the wrist.
metagenomeA collective genome representative of the many organisms, primarily microorganisms, existing in a community.
metastasectomySurgery to remove one or more neoplasm metastases.
metastasisThe spread of a cancer or other disease from one body part to another not directly connected with it.
metatarsal bonesThe five long bones of the metatarsus, articulating with the tarsal bones proximally and the phalanges of toes distally.
metatarsalgiaPain in the region of the metatarsus.
metatarsalsFive long bones in the foot, located between the ankle and toes.
metatarsusThe part of the foot between the tarsus and the toes.
-metermeasurement, instrument to measure
methenamineAn antibacterial compound most commonly used in the treatment of urinary tract infections.
method/oprocedure, technique
metr/outerus (womb)
metritisInflammation of the uterus.
metrorrhagiaAbnormal uterine bleeding that is not related to menstruation.
-metryto measure
MHCmental health care
MImyocardial infarction
microbialRelating to microbes.
microbiologyThe study of microorganisms.
microbiotaThe full collection of microbes (bacteria, fungi, virus, etc.) that naturally exist within a specific environment.
microcephalyAbnormal smallness of the head; a congenital abnormality
microcheiliaAbnormally small lips.
micrococcusA genus of gram-positive, spherical bacteria found in soils and fresh water, and frequently on the skin of man and other animals.
microdontiaAbnormally small teeth.
microgliaA type of non-nervous tissue found in the central nervous system, that acts as a phagocyte at sites of neural damage or inflammation.
micrognathismAbnormally small jaw.
microstomiaA congenital defect of an abnormally small mouth.
microsurgerySurgical procedures using microscope.
microtiaA congenital deformity of the external ear.
microvesselsThe finer blood vessels of the vasculature that are generally less than 100 microns in internal diameter.
midwiferyThe practice of assisting women in childbirth.
migraineModerate to severe, painful headache that may occur with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, fatigue and numbness.
milli-one thousandth
-mimesisimitation, simulation
mindfulnessA psychological state of awareness.
miosisExcessive pupillary constriction.
mioticsDrugs causing contraction of the pupil.
MIPmaximal inspiratory pressure
mis/oopposite, aversion
miscarriageCommon term for the loss of an embryo or fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.. This term is longer accepted in clinical usage.
mitesThey are minute animals related to the spiders, usually having transparent or semitransparent bodies. They may be parasitic on humans , producing various irritations of the skin.
mitochondriaSemiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells.
mitral valveThe valve between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart.
mitral valve prolapseAbnormal protrusion of mitral valve leaflets in the left atria during systole. Results in blood backflow, which causes systolic murmurs, arrhythmia and mitral valve insufficiency.
mitral valve stenosisNarrowing of the passage through the mitral value. Caused by fibrosis and calcinosis. Rheumatic fever is a primary cause.
MLDminimum lethal dose
mmHgmillimeter of mercury
modalityA factor that makes a patient's symptoms better or worse.
molmolecular weight
molarThe most posterior teeth on either side of the jaw which are used for grinding.
mon/osingle, one
monocytesLarge, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes. Monocytes help other white blood cells remove dead or damaged tissues, attack cancer cells and regulate immunity response. Produced in the bone marrow
monorchismAbsence of one testis.
monosomyThe existence in a cell of only one instead of the normal diploid pair of a particular chromosome.
moralsStandards of conduct that distinguish right from wrong.
morbidDiseased or abnormal.
morbid obesityThe condition of weighing two or more times the ideal weight. In the body mass index, morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI greater than 40.0 kg/m2.
morbidity The relative incidence of a particular disease
morph/oshape, form
morphineThe principal alkaloid in opium and the prototype opiate analgesic and narcotic.
mortalityThe relative frequency of deaths in a specific population.
morulaAn early embryo that is a compact mass.
MRAmagnetic resonance angiography
MRImagnetic resonance imaging
MRSAmethicillin resistant staph aureus
MSmultiple sclerosis
MS (2)mitral stenosis
MSHmelanocyte stimulating hormone
mucolipidosesA group of inherited metabolic diseases in which mucopolysaccharides and lipids accumulate in tissues
mucositisAn inflammation of a mucous membrane, such as the lining of the mouth and throat.
mucous membraneThe moist lining of body cavities and hollow organs such as the mouth, the nose, the eyelids, the intestine and the vagina.
mucusThe viscous secretion of mucous membranes. It contains mucin, white blood cells, water, inorganic salts, and exfoliated cells.
multimany, much
multiple sclerosisAn immune-mediated process in which the immune system attacks the myelin sheath that surrounds nerve fibers.
mumpsAn acute viral infection characterized by swelling of the salivary glands, especially the parotids. Usually seen in children.
muscular dystrophiesA heterogeneous group of inherited myopathies, characterized by wasting and weakness of the skeletal muscle.
muscular dystrophyA group of over thirty genetic diseases characterized by progressive degeneration of the skeletal muscles that control movement.
mutationAny detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the genotype and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.
MVmitral valve
MVAmotor vehicle accident
MVPmitral valve prolapse
MVVmaximal voluntary ventilation
myalgiaMuscle pain.
myasthenia gravisA chronic autoimmune disease characterized by weakness of the skeletal muscles.
mycetomaA chronic progressive subcutaneous bacterial or fungal infection.
mycologyThe study of fungi and fungus diseases.
mycosisA fungal inflection.
mydriasisAbnormal dilation of the pupil.
myel/ospinal cord, bone marrow
myelinA white fatty material that encloses certain axons and nerve fibers acting as an electrical insulator.
myelitisAn inflammation of the spinal cord.
myelodysplastic syndromesA group of cancers in which immature blood cells in the bone marrow fail to mature and become healthy.
myelographyA procedure that uses dye with x-rays or CT scans to assess the spinal cord,
myiasisThe invasion of living tissues by dipterous larvae.
myocardi/omyocardium (heart muscle)
myocardial infarctionPartial death of heart tissue caused by an obstructed blood supply. Commonly called "heart attack".
myocardial ischemiaA disorder of cardiac function caused by insufficient blood flow to the muscle tissue of the heart.
myocarditisInflammation of the heart muscle. Caused by a wide range of infections and other problems.
myocardiumThe heart muscle. Its contractions pump blood from heart to the lungs and systemic circulatory system.
myoceleProtrusion of muscle substance through a hole in its sheath
myoclonusSudden, involuntary jerking of a muscle.
myofascial releasePhysical therapy used to treat chronic pain in the tissues that surround and support muscles.
myogenicOriginating in the muscles.
myolysisBreakdown of muscle tissue.
myomaA benign neoplasm of the muscles.
myometriumThe smooth muscle coat of the uterus, which forms the main mass of the organ.
myoparesisSlight muscle paralysis.
myopiaNearsightedness. A condition where close objects appear clearly, but distant objects appear blurry.
myorrhaphySuture of muscle tissue or a muscle wound.
myosarcomaA general term for a malignant neoplasm derived from muscular tissue.
myositisInflammation of a muscle or muscle tissue.
myotoniaTonic muscle spasm or muscular rigidity.
myotonicPertaining to muscle tone.
myring/otympanic membrane (eardrum)
myringitisInflammation of the eardrum.
myringotomySurgical incision in the eardrum to relieve fluid pressure.
myxomaA benign neoplasm derived from connective tissue.

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