PREVIEW MODE IS ENABLED

Glossary

Many anatomic structures are still known by names given when Greek, Arabic and Latin were languages of learning. There are no accepted translations for most anatomic names, so these interesting links with the past remain in service.
Jump to: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A-Z
 
  • A
  • Abduct
    LATIN
    ab, away + ducere, pull.
  • Acetabulum
    LATIN
    acteum, vinegar + abrum, holder. Small cup for vinegar, hence any small cup.
  • Adduct
    LATIN
    ad, towards + ducere, pull.
  • Adrenal
    LATIN
    ad, toward + ren, kidney.
  • Ala (alar)
    LATIN
    ala, wing.
  • Alveolus (alveolar)
    LATIN
    alveolus, small compartment.
  • Ampulla
    LATIN
    ampulla, flask.
  • Ansa
    LATIN
    ansa, handle.
  • Antecubital
    LATIN
    ante, in front; cubitum, elbow.
  • Anular
    LATIN
    anus, ring.
  • Appendix
    LATIN
    ad, toward; pendere, to hang. Hence appendage.
  • Arcuate
    LATIN
    arcus, bow.
  • Areola
    LATIN
    areola, small area.
  • Atrium
    LATIN
    atrium, court or hall.
  • Auricle
    LATIN
    auricula, diminutive of auris, ear.
  • Axilla
    LATIN
    axilla, armpit.
  • Acromion
    GREEK
    acron, summit + omos, shoulder.
  • Anconeus
    GREEK
    ancone, elbow.
  • Aponeurosis
    GREEK
    apo, from: neuron, tendon. (Early GREEK anatomists used neuron indiscriminately for nerves and tendons.)
  • Arachnoid
    GREEK
    arachne, spider; like a spider's web
  • Arytenoid
    GREEK
    arytaina, pitcher; the two cartilages, with the gap between them, look like the spout of a pitcher.
  • Atlas
    GREEK
    Atlas, mythical figure; Atlas supports the world on his shoulders.
  • Axis
    GREEK
    axon, axle or pivot.
  • Azygos
    GREEK
    azygos, unyoked (not a pair) named for its asymmetry.
  • B
  • Biceps
    LATIN
    bi, double; caput, head.
  • Brevis
    LATIN
    brevis, short.
  • Buccinator
    LATIN
    buccinator, trumpeter
  • Bursa
    LATIN
    bursa, purse.
  • Brachial
    GREEK
    brachion, arm.
  • Brachiocephalic
    GREEK
    brachion, arm; kephale, head.
  • Basilic
    ARABIC
    basilik, inner.
  • C
  • Calcaneus
    LATIN
    calcar, spur.
  • Callosum
    LATIN
    callus, hard.
  • Calvaria
    LATIN
    calva, bald.
  • Canaliculus
    LATIN
    canaliculus, little canal.
  • Capitate
    LATIN
    caput, head; thus rounded or shaped like the head.
  • Cauda equina
    LATIN
    cauda equina, horse's tail.
  • Cecum
    LATIN
    caecus, blind.
  • Cerebellum
    LATIN
    cerebellum, little brain.
  • Cerebrum
    LATIN
    cerebrum, brain.
  • Choanae
    LATIN
    choana, funnel
  • Chorda
    LATIN
    chorda, cord.
  • Circumflex
    LATIN
    circum, around; flexere, to bend.
  • Clavicle
    LATIN
    clavis, key or fastener. An ancient window fastener was a stick with a double curve.
  • Colliculus
    LATIN
    colliculus, little hill.
  • Conjunctiva
    LATIN
    conjunctivus, joining together.
  • Cornea
    LATIN
    cornea, horny.
  • Costal
    LATIN
    costa, rib.
  • Cribriform
    LATIN
    cribrum, sieve.
  • Crista galli
    LATIN
    crista, crest; galli, barnyard cock
  • Cruciate
    LATIN
    crux (crucis), a cross.
  • Crus (pl. crura)
    LATIN
    crus (cruris), shin or leg; Used to name anything remotely resembling a leg.
  • Cuneiform
    LATIN
    cuneus, wedge; forma, shape.
  • Carotid
    GREEK
    karotides from karoun, to throttle.
  • Carpal
    GREEK
    karpos, wrist.
  • Celiac
    GREEK
    koilia, belly.
  • Chordae tendineae
    GREEK
    corda, string; tendin, stretched.
  • Clinoid
    GREEK
    cline, bed; the c. processes are named for their resemblance to bed posts.
  • Clitoris
    GREEK
    kleitoris, clitoris.
  • Coccyx
    GREEK
    kokkyx, cuckoo; the bone has a fancied resemblance to a cuckoo's beak.
  • Concha
    GREEK
    conche, cockleshell.
  • Condyle
    GREEK
    kondylos, knob.
  • Conoid
    GREEK
    konos, cone-shaped.
  • Coracoid
    GREEK
    korax, crow; eidos, like; i.e. hooked like a crow's beak.
  • Coronary
    GREEK
    choronos, crown thus encircling.
  • Cranium
    GREEK
    kranion, skull.
  • Cremaster
    GREEK
    kremaster, suspender.
  • Cricoid
    GREEK
    krikos, ring.
  • Cuboid
    GREEK
    kubos, cube; eidos, resembling.
  • Cephalic
    ARABIC
    alkifal, outer.
  • D
  • Denticulate
    LATIN
    denticula, little tooth.
  • Digit
    LATIN
    digitus, finger.
  • Diverticulum
    LATIN
    diverticulum, by-way.
  • Dorsum sellae
    LATIN
    dorsum, back; saddle, saddle, see Sella turcica.
  • Duodenum
    LATIN
    duodenum, twelve; so named because it is 12 fingerbreadths in length.
  • Dura
    LATIN
    durus, hard.
  • Dartos
    GREEK
    dartos, skinned, flayed.
  • Deltoid
    GREEK
    delta, the letter D, thus a triangle.
  • Diaphragm
    GREEK
    diaphragma, partition.
  • Digastric
    GREEK
    dis, double; gaster, belly
  • E
  • Eversion
    LATIN
    e-, out; vertere, to turn.
  • Epicondyles
    GREEK
    epi, upon; kondulos, knob.
  • Epididymis
    GREEK
    epi, upon; didumos, testis.
  • Epigastric
    GREEK
    epi, upon; gaster, stomach; originally used to designate the area of the abdomen overlying the stomach.
  • Epiglottis
    GREEK
    epi, upon; glottis, mouth of the windpipe.
  • Epiploic
    GREEK
    epiploon, omentum.
  • Esophagus
    GREEK
    oisophagos, gullet.
  • F
  • Falciform
    LATIN
    falx, sickle; forma, shape.
  • Falx
    LATIN
    falx, sickle.
  • Femoral
    LATIN
    femur, thigh.
  • Fimbriae
    LATIN
    fimbria, fringe.
  • Foramen
    LATIN
    foramen, aperture, hole.
  • Fornix
    LATIN
    fornix, arch.
  • Fossa
    LATIN
    fossa, trench or ditch, hence any concavity.
  • Frenum
    LATIN
    frenum, bridle.
  • Fallopian
     
    (Named after Fallopius, Italian anatomist.)
  • G
  • Galea
    LATIN
    galea, helmet.
  • Gemellus
    LATIN
    gemelli, little twins.
  • Geniculate
    LATIN
    genu, knee.
  • Gracilis
    LATIN
    gracilis, slender.
  • Ganglion
    GREEK
    ganglion, knot.
  • Gastro-
    GREEK
    gaster, stomach.
  • Gastrocnemius
    GREEK
    gaster, belly; kneme, leg; the bulge of the leg.
  • Genio-
    GREEK
    geneion, bridle.
  • Glenoid
    GREEK
    glene, socket.
  • Gluteal
    GREEK
    gloutos, buttock.
  • -glossus
    GREEK
    glossa, tongue
  • -glottis
    GREEK
    glottis, mouth of the windpipe
  • H
  • Hallux
    LATIN
    hallux, great toe.
  • Hamate
    LATIN
    hamus, hook.
  • Hamulus
    LATIN
    hamulus, little hook
  • Haustrum
    LATIN
    haustrum, pouch.
  • Hiatus
    LATIN
    hiare, to yawn; hence an opening.
  • Hilum
    LATIN
    hilum, point of attachment of a seed.
  • Humerus
    LATIN
    humerus, bone of the upper arm from G omos, shoulder.
  • Helix
    GREEK
    helix, coil.
  • Hepatic
    GREEK
    hepar, liver.
  • Hyoid
    GREEK
    u, letter U; eidos, like; i.e. U-shaped
  • Hypogastric
    GREEK
    hupo, below; gaster, stomach; originally the area of the abdomen below the stomach.
  • Hypothenar
    GREEK
    hypo, below; thenar, the palm.
  • I
  • Incus
    LATIN
    incus, anvil.
  • Infundibulum
    LATIN
    infundibulum, funnel.
  • Inguinal
    LATIN
    inguen, groin.
  • Innominate
    LATIN
    innominatus, without a name.
  • Interosseous
    LATIN
    inter, between; os, bone.
  • Inversion
    LATIN
    in, in; vertere, to turn.
  • Ileum
    GREEK
    eileos, twisted.
  • Ilium
    GREEK
    eilien, to twist, the twisted bone.
  • Iris
    GREEK
    iris, rainbow.
  • Ischium
    GREEK
    ischion, socket of hip joint.
  • J
  • Jejunum
    LATIN
    jejunum, empty, hungry.
  • Jugular
    LATIN
    jugularis, pertaining to the neck (from jugum, yoke)
  • L
  • Lacerum
    LATIN
    lacerus, torn.
  • Lacuna
    LATIN
    lacuna, pit, hollow.
  • Lamina
    LATIN
    lamina, thin plate.
  • Latissimus dorsi
    LATIN
    latissimus, the widest; dorsi, of the back.
  • Levator
    LATIN
    levator, lifter.
  • Lieno-
    LATIN
    lien, spleen.
  • Linea alba
    LATIN
    linea, white; alba, line.
  • Linea aspera
    LATIN
    linea, line; aspera, rough.
  • Lingula
    LATIN
    lingula, little tongue.
  • Lumbrical
    LATIN
    lumbricus, worm.
  • Lunate bone
    LATIN
    luna, moon.
  • Larynx
    GREEK
    larynx, upper part of windpipe.
  • M
  • Malleolus
    LATIN
    malleolus, small hammer.
  • Malleus
    LATIN
    malleus, hammer.
  • Mamillary
    LATIN
    mammila, little breast.
  • Manubrium
    LATIN
    manubrium, handle or hilt of weapon.
  • Meatus
    LATIN
    meatus, passage.
  • Medial
    LATIN
    medius, middle.
  • Mediastinum
    LATIN
    media, middle; stare, stand, i.e. midline partition.
  • Mental
    LATIN
    mentum, chin.
  • Minimus
    LATIN
    minimus, smallest.
  • Masseter
    GREEK
    masseter, chewer.
  • Mastoid
    GREEK
    mastos, breast; eidos, like.
  • N
  • Navicular
    LATIN
    navicula, little ship, hence boat shaped.
  • Nucha
    LATIN
    nucha, nape of neck.
  • O
  • Obturator
    LATIN
    obturare, to occlude; obturator foramen was named because it is largely occluded by the obturator membrane.
  • Occipital
    LATIN
    occipitum, back part of head.
  • Olfactory
    LATIN
    olere, to smell; facere, make.
  • Ostium
    LATIN
    os, mouth.
  • Odontoid
    GREEK
    odous, tooth; eidos, like.
  • Olecranon
    GREEK
    olekranon, point of the elbow.
  • Omo-
    GREEK
    omos, shoulder.
  • P
  • Palpebral
    LATIN
    palpebra, eyelid.
  • Pampiniform
    LATIN
    pampinus, tendril + forma, shape.
  • Papillary
    LATIN
    papilla, nipple.
  • Parietal
    LATIN
    paries, wall.
  • Parotid
    LATIN
    para,beside; otos, ear.
  • Pectineus
    LATIN
    pecten, comb.
  • Pectoralis
    LATIN
    pectus, chest.
  • Pelvis
    LATIN
    pelvis, basin.
  • Peroneal
    LATIN
    perone, fibula.
  • Pia
    LATIN
    pia, soft.
  • Pineal
    LATIN
    pinea, pine cone.
  • Piriform, piriformis
    LATIN
    pirum, pear; forma, shape.
  • Pisiform
    LATIN
    pisum, pea.
  • Pituitary
    LATIN
    pituita, phlegm.
  • Plantar, plantaris
    LATIN
    planta, sole of the foot.
  • Pollicis
    LATIN
    pollex, thumb.
  • Pons
    LATIN
    pons, bridge.
  • Popliteal
    LATIN
    poples, back of the knee.
  • Porta
    LATIN
    porta, doorway.
  • Prepuce
    LATIN
    praeputium, foreskin.
  • Profundus
    LATIN
    profundus, deep.
  • Pubis
    LATIN
    pubes, adult; the part covered by pubic (i.e. adult) hair.
  • Pudendal
    LATIN
    pudere, to be ashamed. Genitals (pudenda) were considered shameful parts.
  • Punctum
    LATIN
    punctum, point.
  • Papyracea
    GREEK
    papyros, papyrus, hence paper.
  • Peritoneum
    GREEK
    peri, around; teinein, stretch.
  • Pharynx
    GREEK
    pharynx, throat.
  • Phrenic
    GREEK
    phren, diaphragm.
  • Platysma
    GREEK
    platysma, spread out flat.
  • Pleura
    GREEK
    pleuron, rib.
  • Psoas
    GREEK
    psoai, loins.
  • Pterygoid
    GREEK
    pteryx, wing; eidos, like.
  • Pylorus
    GREEK
    pulouros, gate watcher.
  • Q
  • Quadratus
    LATIN
    quadratus, squared.
  • Quadriceps
    LATIN
    quadri, four; caput, head.
  • R
  • Ramus
    LATIN
    ramus, branch.
  • Rectum
    LATIN
    rectus, straight.
  • Renal
    LATIN
    ren, kidney.
  • Retinaculum
    LATIN
    retinaculum, a physical restraint.
  • Risorius
    LATIN
    risus, laughter.
  • Radius
    GREEK
    radix, rod.
  • Rhomboid
    GREEK
    rhombus, four sided figure with equal sides.
  • S
  • Sacrum
    LATIN
    sacer, sacred.
  • Sartorius
    LATIN
    sartor, tailor. The action of the muscle crosses the legs, in the position once assumed by tailors.
  • Scrotum
    LATIN
    scortum, leather purse.
  • Sella turcica
    LATIN
    sella, saddle; turcica, Turkish
  • Serratus
    LATIN
    serratus, saw-toothed.
  • Soleus
    LATIN
    solea, sole of foot; also sole, flat fish. Soleus muscle is named for the latter.
  • Squamous
    LATIN
    squama, scale or plate.
  • Stapes
    LATIN
    stapes, stirrup.
  • Salpinx
    GREEK
    salpigx, trumpet.
  • Scalene
    GREEK
    skalenos, irregular, the scalene muscles were first described as a single muscle; they form an irregular triangle.
  • Scaphoid bone
    GREEK
    skaphe, scooped out.
  • Sciatic
    GREEK
    ischion, hip joint.
  • Sclera
    GREEK
    skleros, hard.
  • Sesamoid
    GREEK
    sesamon, sesame seed; eidos, resembling.
  • Sphenoid
    GREEK
    sphen, wedge; eidos, like. The s. bone is wedged among the other bones.
  • Splanchnic
    GREEK
    splanchna, bowels.
  • Styloid
    GREEK
    stylos, pillar; eidos, like.
  • Symphysis
    GREEK
    syn, together; physis, growth.
  • Saphenous
    ARABIC
    al safin, hidden.
  • T
  • Taenia
    LATIN
    tainia, tape.
  • Talus
    LATIN
    talus, ankle.
  • Tectorial
    LATIN
    tectum, roof
  • Tentorium
    LATIN
    tentorium, tent.
  • Teres
    LATIN
    teres, round.
  • Torus
    LATIN
    torus, bulge.
  • Trabecula
    LATIN
    trabecula, small timber or support.
  • Triceps
    LATIN
    tris, three; caput, head.
  • Trigeminal
    LATIN
    trigeminus, triplet.
  • Triquetral
    LATIN
    triquetrus, three-cornered.
  • Tubercle
    LATIN
    tuberculum, small swelling.
  • Tympanic
    LATIN
    tympanum, tambourine.
  • Tarsus
    GREEK
    tarsos, flat basket also oar blade.
  • Thenar
    GREEK
    thenar, palm.
  • Thorax
    GREEK
    thorax, chest.
  • Thyroid
    GREEK
    thyreos, shield.
  • Trachea
    GREEK
    tracheia, rough; the t. is so called because of its ridged wall.
  • Tragus
    GREEK
    tragos, goat, from small tuft of hair near the ear.
  • Trapezius
    GREEK
    trapezion, four-sided figure with two parallel sides.
  • Trochanter
    GREEK
    trochanter, a roller.
  • Trochlea
    GREEK
    trochilea, pulley.
  • U
  • Ulna
    LATIN
    ulna, elbow.
  • Uncinate
    LATIN
    uncinatus, furnished with a hook.
  • Uncus
    LATIN
    uncus, hook.
  • Uterus
    LATIN
    uter, womb.
  • Uvula
    LATIN
    uva, grape.
  • V
  • Vagina
    LATIN
    vagina, sheath.
  • Vagus
    LATIN
    vagare, to wander, i.e. the wandering nerve.
  • Vallecula
    LATIN
    vallecula, little valley
  • Velum
    LATIN
    velum, curtain.
  • Vena cava
    LATIN
    vena, vein; cava, hollow. An old mis-translation of an older GREEK term meaning vein of the belly.
  • Vermis
    LATIN
    vermis, worm.
  • Vesico-
    LATIN
    vesica, bladder.
  • Vestibule
    LATIN
    vestibulum, antechamber.
  • Vomer
    LATIN
    vomer, plowshare.
  • X
  • Xiphoid
    GREEK
    xiphos, sword.
  • Z
  • Zygomatic
    GREEK
    zygon, yoke.
×

Enter an Access Code

  We are unable to redeem your access code. Please try again another time.
Submit

Feedback

Please take a moment to tell us about your experience with AclandAnatomy!
(1000 characters left)
Ease of use
Video navigation
Search results
Value to your understanding of the subject
Do you currently use another format of the Acland product (DVDs, streaming/institutional version, etc.)?
Tell us who you are.



May we contact you about your feedback?
Submit Feedback
Your feedback has been successfully submitted.
We are unable to receive your feedback at this time. Please try again another time.
Please sign in to submit feedback.
×