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This table contains a list of the medical terms used to complete the structure and function exercises in each chapter.


abdominal cavity: the cavity that contains the stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and large and small intestines

abrasion: area where skin has been scraped away

accommodation: the process of rounding and flattening of the lens that enables focus in both near and far vision

adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH): acts on the adrenal glands to secrete glucocorticoids, including cortisol

aldosterone: plays a role in regulating and maintaining the body’s water, sodium, and electrolyte balance

alveoli: microscopic-sized air sacs

amphiarthrosis: a slightly movable joint

anatomical position: standing upright with the toes and the palms facing forward

androgens: responsible for secondary sexual characteristics in females and males

anterior lobe: the portion of the pituitary gland that secretes the hormones GH, TSH, FSH, LH, prolactin, and ACTH

antidiuretic hormone (ADH): acts on the kidneys to increase the absorption of water

aortic valve: exits the left ventricle into the aorta

apex: the largest part of the heart; the lower-left area

apical pulse: listening to this is considered the most-accurate method of measuring heart rate

aponeurosis: a tendon that resembles a ribbon and attaches to a larger area of bone

appendicular body: the arms and legs of the body

appendix: a structure that hangs from the cecum in which normal bacteria may be stored to repopulate the GI tract

aqueous humor: fluid in the anterior chamber that provides nourishment for the lens and cornea and bends light rays to focus them sharply onto the retina

areola: a region of pigmented tissue at the center surface of each breast

arterioles: tiny arteries

ascending colon: the structure that progresses upward from the cecum

atria: the two upper chambers of the heart

atrioventricular node: the “backup” pacemaker that transmits the SA node impulse to both ventricles

atrophy: decrease in size

auscultating: the term that means listening to

autonomic nervous system: the system that controls involuntary functions

axial body: the head, neck, and trunk portion of the body

axon: sends electrical impulses and transmits signals to other cells


basement membrane: place where new, living epidermal cells are produced

bicuspid valve: exits the left atrium into the left ventricle

bladder: a flexible, muscular container for urine

blood pH: the acidity or alkalinity in the blood

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