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MG I 2011-2012, 1st semester

Module: Medical Terminology, part 2

GLOSSARY OF IRREGULAR PLURALS


Alveolus alveoli = small sac or cavity that in numbers forms the alveolar sacs
Ampulla ampullae = reservoir (e.g. in the breast)
Antrum antra = natural cavity or sinus, particularly in the bone
Atrium atria = upper chamber in the heart
Bacillus bacilli = kind of bacteria
Bacterium bacteria = single-cell organism
Bronchus bronchi = air passage supported by rings of cartilage
Bursa bursae = small fluid-filled fibrous sac
Caecum caeca = expanded, blind-ended sac at the start of the large intestine
Cilium cilia = fine hair-like projections which line the epithelium of the upper respiratory
tract
Cortex cortices = outer part of an organ situated beneath its enclosing capsules or outer
membrane
Dialysis dialyses = the use of a semipermeable membrane to separate large and small
molecules by selective diffusion
Diaphysis diaphyses = central part or shaft of a long bone
Diverticulum diverticula = generally, a pouch extending from a main cavity
Embolus emboli = material carried by the blood which then lodges elsewhere in the body
Epithelium epithelia = tissue made up of cells packed closely together and bound by
connective material
Fibula fibulae = the outer, thin, long bone that articulates with the tibia
Fimbria fimbriae = finger-like projections in the fallopian tubes
Fossa fossae = natural hollow or depression on the surface or within the body
Fundus fundi = enlarged base of an organ, farthest away from its opening (or point in the
retina of the eye opposite the pupil)
Fungus fungi = mushroom
Ganglion ganglia = mass of nervous tissue containing nerve cells and synapses
Gluteus glutei = one of the three muscles of each buttock
Ilium ilia = largest bone forming each half of the pelvic girdle
Ischium Ischia = one of the three bones that comprise each half of the pelvis
Lacuna lacunae = small depression, cavity or pit, especially in compact bone
Lamella lamellae = thin plate, especially of bone
Lamina laminae = thin plate, such as of bone or muscle
Lunula lunulae = pale crescent in the nail
Macula maculae = small area or spot of tissue distinct from the surrounding region
Maxilla maxillae
Meninx meninges = connective tissue membrane that surrounds the spinal cord and
brain (there are three)
Mitochondrion mitochondria = tiny rodlike structure present in the cytoplasm of cells
Neurosis neuroses = mental disorder but one in which the patient retains a grasp of
reality (unlike psychosis)
Operculum opercula = lid, plug or flap
Ovum ova = mature unfertilized female reproductive cell
Papilla papillae = any small protuberance, such as on the tongue
Papilloma papillomata = usually benign growth on the skin surface or mucous
membrane
Patella patellae = kneecap
Phalanx phalanges = bone of the digit (14 in all)
Pilus pili = hair or structure like a hair
Pleura pleurae = serous membrane covering the lungs and the inside of the chest wall
Prognosis prognoses = forecast of likely outcome
Prosthesis prostheses = artificial device fitted into the body
Psychosis psychoses = very serious state of mental ill-health
Pubis pubes = one of the three bones that make up each half of the pelvic bone
Radius radii = shorter outer bone of the forearm
Scapula scapulae = shoulder blade

Septum septa = a planar dividing feature within a structure of the body, a partition
Spermatozoon spermatozoa = scientific name for sperm
Staphylococcus staphylococci = kind of gram-positive bacteria
Stenosis stenoses = abnormal narrowing of a blood vessel, heart valve or similar
structure
Sternum sterna = breastbone
Stigma stigmata = mark or impression upon the skin, possibly typical of a particular
disease
Stimulus stimuli = agent that arouses or provokes a response in a sense organ
Stoma stomata = opening made in the abdominal surface to accommodate a tube from
the colon or ileum
Stratum strata = layer
Streptococcus streptococci = kind of bacteria
Talus tali = ankle bone
Tarsus tarsi = part of the foot
Thalamus thalami = one of a pair of masses of grey matter located within each side of
the forebrain
Thrombosis thromboses = process of clotting within a blood vessel
Thrombus thrombi = blood clot within a vessel that partially or totally obstructs
circulation
Tibia tibiae = shin bone
Ulna ulnae = one of the two bones making up the forearm
Vertebra vertebrae = bone making up the spinal column
Villus villi = finger-like projections in the small intestine which increase the surface area
for absorption of digested food
Viscus viscera = organs within the body cavity, usually the abdomen
Zoonosis zoonoses = generic for infectious animal disease that can be transmitted to
humans