36 S

sacral (SAK-răl, SĀ-krăl): Pertaining to the sacrum.

sagittal plane (SĂJ-ĭ-tăl plān): Plane that divides the body or an organ vertically into left and right sides.

salpingectomy (sal-pĭn-JEK-tŏ-mē): Excision of the uterine/fallopian tube.

salpingitis (săl-pĭn-JĪ-tĭs): Inflammation of a fallopian/uterine tube.

salpingo-oophorectomy (săl-pĭng-gō-ō-ŏf-ō-RĔK-tō-mē): Excision of the uterine tube and ovary.

salpingostomy (săl-pĭng-ŎS-tō-mē): Creation of an artificial opening in the uterine tube.

sarcopenia (săr-kō-PĒN-ē-ă): Abnormal reduction of connective tissue.

satellite cell (SĂT-l-īt sel): Glial cell type in the PNS that provides support for neurons in the ganglia.

scar (skăr): Collagen-rich skin formed after the process of wound healing that differs from normal skin. Also known as a cicatrix.

Schwann cell (shvon sel): Glial cell type in the PNS that provides the myelin insulation for axons in nerves.

sclerokeratitis (sklĕr-ō-kĕr-ă-TĪ-tĭs): Inflammation of the sclera and cornea.

scleromalacia (sklĕ-rō-mā-LĀ-sē-ă): Softening of the sclera.

sclerotomy (sklĕ-ROT-ŏ-mē): Incision into the sclera.

scoliosis (skō-lē-Ō-sĭs): Abnormal condition of (lateral) curved spine.

scrotum (SKRŌ-tŭm): External pouch of skin and muscle that houses the testes.

sebaceous gland (sē-BĀ-shŭs gland): Type of oil gland that is found all over the body and helps to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair.

seborrhea (sĕb-or-Ē-ă): Discharge (excessive) of sebum.

secondary adaptive response (SĔK-ŏn-dăr-ē ad-ap-TĬV ri-SPONS): Immune response observed upon re-exposure to a pathogen, which is stronger and faster than a primary response.

secondary lymphoid organs (SĔK-ŏn-dăr-ē LIM-foyd OR-găn): Sites where lymphocytes mount adaptive immune responses, examples include lymph nodes and spleen.

semen (SĒ-mĕn): Ejaculatory fluid composed of sperm and secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate, and bulbourethral glands.

seminal vesicle (SĔM-ĭ-năl VES-ĭ-kĕl): Gland that produces seminal fluid, which contributes to semen.

seminiferous tubules (sĕm-ĭn-ĬF-ĕr-ŭs TŪ-būls): Tube structures within the testes where spermatogenesis occurs.

sensation (sen-SĀ-shŏn): Nervous system function that receives information from the environment and translates it into the electrical signals of nervous tissue.

sepsis (SEP-sĭs): Toxic condition due to spread of bacteria or their toxins from an infection.

septal cartilage (SEP-tŭm KART-ĭ-lăj): The flexible portion you can touch with your fingers.

septoplasty (sĕp-tō-PLĂS-tē): Surgical repair of the septum.

septotomy (sĕp-TŎT-ō-mē): Incision into the (nasal) septum.

seroconversion: The reciprocal relationship between virus levels in the blood and antibody levels. As the antibody levels rise, the virus levels decline, and this is a sign that the immune response is being at least partially effective (partially, because in many diseases, seroconversion does not necessarily mean a patient is getting well).

serous (SĒR-ŭs): You may recall that serous membranes throughout the body are folded back on themselves, which results in a double-layered membrane separated by serous fluid. The serous membrane surrounding the lungs is called pleura. The serous membrane surrounding the abdominopelvic organs is called peritoneum.

serous membrane (serosa) (SĒR-ŭs MEM-brān): Epithelial membrane composed of mesodermally derived epithelium (mesothelium) that is supported by connective tissue.

serous space (SĒR-ŭs spās): Thin, fluid-filled space between the parietal and visceral layers of the serous membrane.

Sertoli cells (SERT-ŏ-lē sels): Cells that support germ cells through the process of spermatogenesis; a type of sustentacular cell.

severe combined immunodeficiency disease (scid): Genetic mutation that affects both t cell and b cell arms of the immune response.

sexually transmitted disease (STD) (SEKS-ū-ă-lē trăns-MĬT-ed diz-ĒZ): Infection spread through sexual contact.

sialolith (sī-AL-ŏ-lith): Stone in the salivary gland.

sickle cell disease: A genetic disorder involving the production of an abnormal type of hemoglobin which delivers less oxygen to tissues and causes erythrocytes to assume a sickle (or crescent) shape.

sidestream smoke (SĪD-strēm smōk): Some that is given off by the burning cigarette.

sigmoidoscopy (sig-moy-DOS-kŏ-pē): Process of viewing the sigmoid colon.

silent mis: A myocardial infarction without symptoms. The patient may not know that they are having an MI

sinus rhythm (SĪ-nŭs Rith-ĭm): This is the rhythm set by the heart’s pacemaker, the sinoatrial node and is usually approximately 60-90 beats per minute in a resting adult

sinusitis (sī-nŭs-Ī-tĭs): Inflammation of a sinus.

skeletal muscle (SKEL-ĕt-ŏn MŬS-ĕl): Skeletal muscles are responsible for voluntary muscle movement.

sleep apnea (slēp ap-NĒ-ă): Chronic condition characterized by the cessation of breathing during sleep.

smooth muscle (MŬS-ĕl): Smooth muscle is mainly associated with the walls of internal organs. Smooth muscles are responsible for involuntary muscle movement.

soft palate (soft PAL-ăt): The soft palate is located at the posterior portion of the nasal cavity and consists of muscle tissue.

solutes (SOL-ūt): The minor component in a solution.

soma (SŌ-mă): In neurons, that portion of the cell that contains the nucleus; the cell body, as opposed to the cell processes (axons and dendrites).

somatic nervous system (SNS) (sō-MAT-ik NĔR-vŭs SIS-tĕm): Functional division of the nervous system that is concerned with conscious perception, voluntary movement, and skeletal muscle reflexes.

sonogram (SON-ŏ-gram): The record of sound.

sonography (sō-NOG-ră-fē): Process of recording sound.

sonohysteropgraphy (SHG) (sō-nō-his-tĕ-ROG-ră-fē): Process of recording the uterus by use of sound.

speculum (SPEK-yŭ-lŭm): Instrument for opening a body cavity to allow visual inspection.

sperm (pl; spermatozoa) (spĕrm (pl; spĕr-măt-ō-ZŌ-ă): Male gamete.

spermatic cord (spĕr-MĂT-ĭk kord): Bundle of nerves and blood vessels that supplies the testes; contains ductus deferens.

spermatid (SPĔR-mă-tĭd): Immature sperm cells produced by meiosis II of secondary spermatocytes.

spermatocele (spĕr-MĂT-ō-sēl): Distention of the epididymis containing an abnormal cyst-like collection of fluid and sperm cells.

spermatocyte (spĕr-MĂT-ō-sīt): Cell that results from the division of spermatogonium and undergoes meiosis I and meiosis II to form spermatids.

spermatogenesis (spĕr-măt-ō-JĔN-ĕ-sĭs): Formation of new sperm, occurs in the seminiferous tubules of the testes.

spermatogonia (spĕr-măt-ō-GŌ-nēa): Diploid precursor cells that become sperm (singular = spermatogonium).

spermatolysis (spĕr-măt-ŎL-ĭ-sĭs): Dissolution (destruction) of sperm.

spermiogenesis (spĕr-mē-ō-JĔN-ĕ-sĭs): Transformation of spermatids to spermatozoa during spermatogenesis.

sphincter (SFĬNK-tĕr): A circular muscle constricting an orifice.

spinal cord (SPĪ-năl kord): Organ of the central nervous system found within the vertebral cavity and connected with the periphery through spinal nerves; mediates reflex behaviors.

spleen (splēn): Secondary lymphoid organ that filters pathogens from the blood (white pulp) and removes degenerating or damaged blood cells (red pulp).

splenectomy (splē-NEK-tŏ-mē): Excision of the spleen,

splenomegaly (splē-nō-mē-GĀ-lē): Enlarged spleen.

splenopexy (SPLĒ-nō-pĕk-sē): Surgical fixation of the spleen.

sphygmomanometer (sfĭg-mō-măn-ŎM-ĕt-ĕr): Instrument used to measure blood pressure.

spirometer (spī-Rŏm-ĕt-ĕr): Instrument used to measure breathing (lung volume).

spirometry (spī-RŎM-ĕ-trē): Measuring breathing (air flow).

spondylarthritis (spon-dil-ar-THRĪT-ĭs): Inflammation of the vertebra and joint.

spondylosis (spŏn-dĭ-LŌ-sĭs): Abnormal condition of the vertebrae.

sprain (sprān): Injury to a joint whereby a ligament is stretched or torn.

sputum (SPŪT-ŭm): Mucous secretion from lungs, bronchi, and trachea that is expelled through the mouth.

squamous cell carcinoma (SKWĀ-mŭs sel kar-sĭn-Ō-mă): Cancer that affects the deratinocytes of the stratum spinosum and presents as lesions commonly found on the scalp, ears, and hands.

stapedectomy (stā-pĕ-DEK-tŏ-mē): Excision of the stapes.

staphylococcus (staf-ĭ-lō-KOK-ŭs): Berry-shaped bacterium in grapelike clusters.

Staphylococcus aureus (staf-ĭ-lō-KOK-ŭs): Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is commonly found in minor skin infections, as well as in the nose of some healthy people.

steatohepatitis (stē-ăt-ŏ-hep-ă-TĪT-ĭs): Inflammation of the liver associated with fat.

steatorrhea (stē-ă-tō-RĒ-ă): Discharge of fat.

steatosis (stē-ă-TŌ-sĭs): Abnormal condition of fat.

sterility (stĕ-RIL-ĭt-ē): A condition of being unable to conceive or reproduce the species.

sterilization (ster-ĭ-lĭ-ZĀ-shŏn): Procedure that prevents pregnancy, either a female’s ability to conceive or a male’s ability to induce conception.

sternoclavicular (stĕr-nō-klă-VĬK-ū-lăr): Pertaining to the sternum and clavicle.

sternoid (STĔR-noyd): Resembling the sternum.

stethoscope (STETH-ŏ-skōp): Instrument used to hear internal body sounds.

stillborn (STIL-bōrn): An infant that is born dead.

stimulus (STĬM-ū-lŭs): An event in the external or internal environment that registers as activity in a sensory neuron.

stoma (STŌ-mă): Surgical opening between an organ and the surface of the body.

stomatitis (stō-mă-TĪT-ĭs): Inflammation of the mouth.

stomatogastric (stō-mă-tō-GĂS-trĭk): Pertaining to the mouth and stomach.

strain (strān): Injury to a muscle whereby a tendon is stretched or torn.

stratified squamous epithelium (STRĂT-ĭ-fīd SKWĀ-mŭs ep-i-THĒ-lē-ŭm): Cells arranged in layers upon a basal membrane.

stratum basale (STRĀ-tŭm BĀS-al): Deepest layer of the epidermal.

streptococcus (strep-tŏ-KOK-ŭs): Berry-shaped bacterium in twisted chains.

stricture (STRIK-chŭr): Abnormal narrowing.

stroke (strōk): Loss of neurological function caused by an interruption of blood flow to a region of the central nervous system.

sty (stī): Infection of an oil gland of the eyelid (hordeolum).

stye (stī): Acute infection of eyelash hair follicle.

subarachnoid space (sŭb-ă-RAK-noyd spās): Space between the arachnoid mater and pia mater that contains CSF and the fibrous connections of the arachnoid trabeculae.

subcostal (sŭb-KOS-tăl): Pertaining to below the ribs.

subcutaneous (sŭb-kū-TĀ-nē-ŭs): Pertaining to under the skin.

subdural (sŭb-DŪ-răl): Pertaining to below the dura mater.

subdural hematoma (sŭb-DŪ-răl hĕm-ă-TŌ-mă): Tumor filled with blood pertaining to below the dura mater.

sublingual (sŭb-LING-gwăl): Pertaining to under the tongue.

submandibular (sŭb-măn-DĬB-ū-lăr): Pertaining to under the mandible.

submaxillary (sŭb-MĂK-sĭ-lĕr-ē): Pertaining to under the maxilla.

subscapular (sŭb-SKĂP-ū-lăr): Pertaining to below the scapula.

substernal (sŭb-STĔR-năl): Pertaining to below the sternum.

subungual (sŭb-ŬNG-gwăl): Pertaining to under the nail.

suffix: A word part added to the end of a word that changes the meaning of the word root.

sulcus/sulci (SŬL-kŭs/ SŬL-kī): Groove formed by convolutions in the surface of the cerebral cortex; see fissure.

superficial (SOO-pĕr-FISH-ăl): Describes a position closer to the surface of the body.

superficial lymphatics (soo-pĕr-FĬSH-ăl lim-FAT-iks): Lymphatic vessels of the subcutaneous tissues of the skin.

superior (or cranial) (soo-PĒ-rē-or): Describes a position above or higher than another part of the body proper.

superior vena cava (soo-PĒ-rē-or VĒ-nă KĀ-vă): One of the two largest veins in the body. It carries deoxygenated blood from the head and upper extremities back to the heart.

suprapatellar (soo-pră-pă-TĔL-ăr): Pertaining to above the knee cap.

suture (SOO-chŭr): To stitch the edges of a wound.

sympathetic (sĭm-pă-THĔT-ĭk): Flight or fight response.

sympathetic nervous system (sĭm-pă-THĔT-ĭk NĔR-vŭs SIS-tĕm): Part of the nervous system that serves to accelerate heart rate, constrict blood vessels and raise blood pressure in response to stress. Responsible for fight or flight responses.

synapse (SĬN-ăps): Narrow junction across which a chemical signal passes from neuron to the next, initiating a new electrical signal in the target cell.

synaptic end bulb (sĭ-NĂP-tĭk ende bŭlb): Swelling at the end of an axon where neurotransmitter molecules are released onto a target cell across a synapse.

synarthrosis (sĭn-ăr-THRŌ-sĭs): Joints with no movements.

syncope (SING-kŏ-pē): Fainting.

syndrome (SĬN-drōm): Run together (signs and symptoms occur together characterizing of a specific disorder).

synovectomy (sĭn-ō-VĔK-tō-mē): Excision of the synovial membrane.

synovial membrane (sĭn-Ō-vē-ăl MEM-brān): Connective tissue membrane that lines the cavity of a freely movable joint.

synoviosarcoma (sĭn-ō-vē-Ō-mă-sar-KŌ-mă): Malignant tumor of the synovial membrane.

synthesis (Sĭn-thĕs-ĭs): The production of chemical compounds by reaction from simpler materials.

syphilis (SIF-ĭ-lĭs): A chronic bacterial disease spread primarily through sexual intercourse, but also congenitally by infection of a developing fetus. Rapidly spreads through the body and if left untreated becomes systemic.

systemic lupus erythematosus (sĭs-tĕm′ĭk loo′pŭs): Autoimmune disease in which the immune system recognizes its own cell antigens as being “non-self” and mounts an immune response against them. As a result, many body tissues and vital organs become chronically inflamed and damaged.

systole (SIS-tŏ-lē): Phase in cardiac cycle when ventricles contract and eject blood.

systolic pressure (SIS-tŏ-lik): The systolic pressure is the higher value (typically around 120 mm Hg) and reflects the arterial pressure resulting from the ejection of blood during ventricular contraction, or systole.



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Medical Terminology Student Companion Copyright © 2022 by Stacey Grimm; Colleen Allee; Heidi Belitz; Traci Gotz; Micheal Randolph; Elaine Strachota; and Laurie Zielinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book