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Glossary of Medical Terms
beginning with letter P
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PA Tweet Definition of PA Like Definition of PA on Facebook
abbreviation
  1. Pennsylvania
initialism (pluralPAs)
  1. public address system
  2. personal assistant
  3. Power Amplifier
  4. Prince Albert (piercing)
  5. Public Accountant
    1. Public Act
  6. Physician's Assistant
  7. 'per annum'' (i.e. interest)
pacemaker Tweet Definition of pacemaker Like Definition of pacemaker on Facebook
noun
  1. One who sets the pace in a race, to guide the others.
  2. (anatomy) A set of nerves which stimulate the heart to beat.
  3. (context, hence) A medical implement that is used to stimulate a heart to beat by simulating the action of the natural pacemaker.
pack Tweet Definition of pack Like Definition of pack on Facebook
noun
  1. A bundle made up and prepared to be carried; especially, a bundle to be carried on the back; a load for an animal; a bale, as of goods.
  2. A number or quantity equal to the contents of a pack; hence, a multitude; a burden.
  3. A number or quantity of connected or similar things; a collective.
  4. A full set of playing cards; also, the assortment used in a particular game; as, a euchre pack.
  5. A number of hounds or dogs, hunting or kept together.
  6. A number of persons associated or leagued in a bad design or practice; a gang; as, a pack of thieves or knaves.
  7. A shook of cask staves.
  8. A bundle of sheet-iron plates for rolling simultaneously.
  9. A large area of floating pieces of ice driven together more or less closely.
  10. An envelope, or wrapping, of sheets used in hydropathic practice, called dry pack, wet pack, cold pack, etc., according to the method of treatment.
  11. (slang): A loose, lewd, or worthless person.
  12. (context, snooker, pool) A tight group of object balls in cue sports. Usually the reds in snooker.
verb
  1. (transitive) To make a pack of; to arrange closely and securely in a pack; hence, to place and arrange compactly as in a pack; to press into close order or narrow compass; as to pack goods in a box; to pack fish.
  2. (transitive) To fill in the manner of a pack, that is, compactly and securely, as for transportation; hence, to fill closely or to repletion; to stow away within; to cause to be full; to crowd into; as, to pack a trunk; the play, or the audience, packs the theater.
  3. (transitive) To sort and arrange (the cards) in a pack so as to secure the game unfairly.
  4. (transitive) To bring together or make up unfairly and fraudulently, in order to secure a certain result; as, to pack a jury or a causes.
  5. (transitive) To contrive unfairly or fraudulently; to plot.
  6. (transitive) To load with a pack; hence, to load; to encumber; as, to pack a horse.
  7. (transitive) To cause to go; to send away with baggage or belongings; esp., to send away peremptorily or suddenly; " sometimes with off; as, to pack a boy off to school.
  8. (transitive) To transport in a pack, or in the manner of a pack (i. e., on the backs of men or beasts).
  9. (transitive) To envelop in a wet or dry sheet, within numerous coverings.
  10. (transitive) To render impervious, as by filling or surrounding with suitable material, or to fit or adjust so as to move without giving passage to air, water, or steam; as, to pack a joint; to pack the piston of a steam engine.
  11. (intransitive) To make up packs, bales, or bundles; to stow articles securely for transportation.
  12. (intransitive) To admit of stowage, or of making up for transportation or storage; to become compressed or to settle together, so as to form a compact mass; as, the goods pack conveniently; wet snow packs well.
  13. (intransitive) To gather in flocks or schools; as, the grouse or the perch begin to pack.
  14. (intransitive) To depart in haste; " generally with off or away.
  15. (intransitive) To unite in bad measures; to confederate for ill purposes; to join in collusion.
  16. (intransitive) To carry a gun.
pad Tweet Definition of pad Like Definition of pad on Facebook
noun
  1. A flattened mass of anything soft, to sit or lie on.
  2. (context, US, slang) A bed.
  3. (colloquial) A place of residence.
  4. A cushion used as a saddle without a tree or frame.
  5. A soft, or small, cushion.
  6. A cushion-like thickening of the skin on the under side of the toes of animals; an animal's foot or paw.
  7. Any cushion-like part of the human body, especially the ends of the fingers.
  8. A stuffed guard or protection, especially one worn on the legs of horses to prevent bruising.
  9. A soft bag or cushion to relieve pressure, support a part, etc.
  10. A floating leaf of a water lily or similar plant.
  11. (cricket) a batsman's leg pad that protects it from damage when hit by the ball
  12. A kind of cushion for writing upon, or for blotting, especially one formed of many flat sheets of writing paper; now especially such a block of paper sheets as used to write on.
  13. A panel or strip of material designed to be sensitive to pressure or touch.
  14. A keypad.
  15. A flat surface or area from which a helicopter or other aircraft may land or be launched.
  16. An electrical extension cord with a multi-port socket one end: "trip cord"
  17. the effect produced by sustained lower reeds, reed notes in a musical piece, most common in blues music.
verb (padd, ing)
  1. (transitive) To stuff.
  2. (transitive) To furnish with a pad or padding.
  3. (transitive) To fill or lengthen (a story, one's importance, etc.).
  4. (transitive) To imbue uniformly with a mordant.
to pad cloth
  1. (context, transitive, cricket) to deliberately play the ball with the leg pad instead of the bat.
palliate Tweet Definition of palliate Like Definition of palliate on Facebook
verb (palliat, ing)
  1. To lessen the severity of; to extenuate.
  2. To cause to seem less serious.
  3. To relieve the symptoms of; to ameliorate.
  4. To cover by excuses and apologies.
palliative Tweet Definition of palliative Like Definition of palliative on Facebook
noun
  1. Something that palliates, particularly a palliative medicine
The radiation and chemotherapy were only palliatives.
adjective
  1. Minimising the progression of a disease and relieving undesirable symptoms for as long as possible, rather than attempting to cure the (usually incurable) disease.
palpable Tweet Definition of palpable Like Definition of palpable on Facebook
adjective
  1. Capable of being touched, felt or handled; touchable, tangible.
  2. obvious, Obvious or easily perceived.
The fear in the air was .
  1. (medicine) That can be detected by palpation.
palpitation Tweet Definition of palpitation Like Definition of palpitation on Facebook
noun
  1. a trembling or throbbing, especially throbbing, quivering, or contraction of a part of the heart
para Tweet Definition of para Like Definition of para on Facebook
noun
  1. Formerly, one-hundredth of a dinar in Yugoslavia and, later, in the constituent states of that country.
parity Tweet Definition of parity Like Definition of parity on Facebook
noun (parities, -)
  1. (context, uncountable) equal; even; of comparable strength or intensity
  2. (context, countable) (italbrac, of a set) the property of having only two classifications, especially (in mathematics) the classifications even and odd
Parity is always preserved in such operations.
  1. (context, countable) the classification of an item into one of two sets, especially (in mathematics) into even or odd
The particles' parities can switch at random.
  1. (in physics) symmetry of interactions under spatial inversion
  2. (in medicine) the number of times a woman has given birth
  3. (in gaming) in Othello(r) or reversi it is the last move within a given sector of the board
parturient Tweet Definition of parturient Like Definition of parturient on Facebook
adjective
  1. giving birth; in labour
  2. (context, by extension) about to create a new product, or float a new idea
passive Tweet Definition of passive Like Definition of passive on Facebook
adjective
  1. Something that is not active, but rather is acted upon.
  2. (grammar) When the subject of a sentence has an action done to them.
    The form of "A meteorite hit the earth" is "The earth was hit by a meteorite."
  3. (slang) Remaining neutral or submissive during an event.
    He remained during the protest.
patch Tweet Definition of patch Like Definition of patch on Facebook
noun
  1. A piece of cloth, or other suitable material, sewed or otherwise fixed upon a garment to repair or strengthen it, esp. upon an old garment to cover a hole.
  2. A small piece of anything used to repair a breach; as, a patch on a kettle, a roof, etc.
  3. A small piece of black silk stuck on the face, or neck, to hide a defect, or to heighten beauty.
  4. A piece of greased cloth or leather used as wrapping for a rifle ball, to make it fit the bore.
  5. A small area, a small piece of ground; a tract; a plot; as, scattered patches of trees or growing corn.
  6. A short period of time, especially one which causes trouble.
  7. (figuratively) A fit.
  8. A block on the muzzle of a gun, to do away with the effect of dispart, in sighting.
  9. (archaic) A paltry fellow; a rogue; a ninny; a fool.
  10. (computing) A file describing changes made to a computer file or files, usually changes made to a computer program that fix a programming bug. A patch file, a file used for input to a patch program.
  11. An adhesive piece of material, impregnated with a drug, which is worn on the skin; the drug being slowly absorbed over a period of time.
  12. A small piece of material that is manually passed through a gun barrel to clean it.
proper noun
  1. (computing) The program that updates old versions of files, based on a record of differences with the newer versions.
verb (patches, patching, patched)
  1. To mend by sewing on a piece or pieces of cloth, leather, or the like; as, to patch a coat.
  2. To mend with pieces; to repair with pieces fastened on.
  3. To repair clumsily; as, to patch the roof of a house.
  4. To adorn, as the face, with a patch or patches.
  5. To make of pieces or patches like a quilt.
  6. To repair as with patches.
  7. To arrange in a hasty or clumsy manner; " generally with up; as, to patch up a truce.
  8. (computing) To make the changes a patch describes; to apply a patch to the files in question. Hence:
  1. To fix or improve a computer program without a complete upgrade.
  2. To make a quick and possibly temporary change to a program.
patient Tweet Definition of patient Like Definition of patient on Facebook
noun
  1. Someone who receives treatment from a doctor or other medically educated person.
adjective
  1. Not lose, losing one's temper while waiting; not bothered with having to wait; not unwilling to wait
pediatrics Tweet Definition of pediatrics Like Definition of pediatrics on Facebook
noun (plurale tantum, always plural)
  1. (medicine) The branch of medicine that deals with the treatment of children.
percussion Tweet Definition of percussion Like Definition of percussion on Facebook
noun (percussions, -)
  1. (countable) the collision of two bodies in order to produce a sound
  2. (countable) the sound so produced
  3. (countable) the detonation of a percussion cap in a firearm
  4. (medicine) the tapping of the body as an aid to medical diagnosis
  5. (music) the section of an orchestra or band containing percussion instruments; such instruments considered as a group
percussive Tweet Definition of percussive Like Definition of percussive on Facebook
adjective
  1. characterized by percussion; caused by or related to the action of striking or pounding something
    He massaged her shoulders with a gentle action.
  2. ~maintenance: euphemism for hitting a piece of malfunctioning equipment in the hope that it will then work.
pessary Tweet Definition of pessary Like Definition of pessary on Facebook
noun (pessar, ies)
  1. vaginal, Vaginal suppository.
pharyngoscope Tweet Definition of pharyngoscope Like Definition of pharyngoscope on Facebook
noun
  1. an instrument used to examine the pharynx
phlebogram Tweet Definition of phlebogram Like Definition of phlebogram on Facebook
noun
  1. a venogram
phlebography Tweet Definition of phlebography Like Definition of phlebography on Facebook
noun
  1. An X-ray examination of a system of veins that have been injected with a contrast medium; venography
photofluorogram Tweet Definition of photofluorogram Like Definition of photofluorogram on Facebook
noun
  1. (photography) A photograph made by photofluorography
photofluorography Tweet Definition of photofluorography Like Definition of photofluorography on Facebook
noun
  1. (medicine), (photography) The photographic recording of fluoroscope images
photogenic Tweet Definition of photogenic Like Definition of photogenic on Facebook
adjective
  1. generated or caused by light
photogenic melanoma
  1. generating or emiting light, phosphorescent
photogenic bacteria
  1. looking good when photographed
photogenic face
placebo effect Tweet Definition of placebo effect Like Definition of placebo effect on Facebook
noun
  1. (pharmacology) The tendency of any medication or treatment, even an inert or ineffective one, to exhibit results simply because the recipient believes that it will work.
plaster Tweet Definition of plaster Like Definition of plaster on Facebook
noun (plasters, -)
  1. (uncountable) A mixture of lime or gypsum, sand, and water, sometimes with the addition of fibres, that hardens to a smooth solid and is used for coating walls and ceilings.
  2. (countable) A cast made of plaster of Paris and gauze; plaster cast.
  3. (uncountable) A paste applied to the skin for healing or cosmetic purposes.
  4. (countable) A small adhesive bandage to cover a minor wound; a sticking plaster.
verb
  1. (transitive) To cover or coat something with plaster, or apply a plaster.
Her face was plastered in mud.
  1. (transitive) To hide or cover up, as if with plaster.
The radio station plastered the buses and trains with its advertisement.
pneumatometer Tweet Definition of pneumatometer Like Definition of pneumatometer on Facebook
noun
  1. A device used to measure the force of inspiration or expiration of a persons lungs
podiatrist Tweet Definition of podiatrist Like Definition of podiatrist on Facebook
noun
  1. (context, medicine) A health care practitioner who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of foot ailments.
I visited my to obtain a new pair of orthopedic inserts for my shoes.
podiatry Tweet Definition of podiatry Like Definition of podiatry on Facebook
noun
  1. ,(medicine) chiropody
point Tweet Definition of point Like Definition of point on Facebook
noun
  1. A location or place.
  2. (geometry) A zero-dimensional mathematical object representing a location in one or more dimensions.
  3. A particular moment in an event or occurrence.
At this point in the meeting, I'd like to propose a new item for the agenda.
  1. The sharp tip of an object.
  2. A peninsula.
  3. (arithmetic) A decimal point (used when reading decimal fractions aloud).
10.5 ("ten point five"; = ten and a half)
  1. An opinion which adds (or supposedly adds) to the discussion.
  2. A unit of measure of success or failure in a game or competition; the unit of score, scoring.
The one with the most points will win the game
Germany awarded Greece the maximum 12 points in the Eurovision Song Contest.
  1. The color/colour on the extremities of an animal (typically darker or richer) than the rest of the coat).
The point color of that cat was a deep, rich sable.
  1. (rail transport, Commonwealth) a device by which trains change tracks; switch
  2. (cricket) a fielding position square of the wicket on the off side, between gully and cover.
  3. The position at the front or vanguard of an advancing force.
    • 2005: Willie Jones decided to become Kimani Jones, Black Panther, on the day his best friend, Otis Nicholson, stepped on a mine while walking during a sweep in the central highlands. " Martin Torgoff, Can't Find My Way Home (Simon & Schuster 2005, p. 189)
    • (nautical) An angle equivalent to eleven and a quarter degrees, that is 1/32 of a circle. Most commonly used to indicate a relative bearing to an object or vessel, but can be used to describe a compass bearing.
verb
  1. (intransitive) To extend the index finger in the direction of something in order to show where it is or to draw attention to it.
It's rude to at other people.
  1. (transitive) To direct or encourage (someone) in a particular direction
If he asks for food, him toward the refrigerator.
polygraph Tweet Definition of polygraph Like Definition of polygraph on Facebook
noun
  1. a device which measures and records several physiological variables such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and skin conductivity while a series of questions is being asked, in an attempt to detect lies.
polypnea Tweet Definition of polypnea Like Definition of polypnea on Facebook
noun
  1. (medicine) rapid breathing; panting
positive Tweet Definition of positive Like Definition of positive on Facebook
noun
  1. A thing capable of being affirmed; something real or actual.
  2. A favourable point or characteristic.
  3. Something having a value in physics, such as an electric charge.
  4. (grammar) An adjective or adverb in the degree.
  5. (context, photography) A image; one that displays true colors and shades, as opposed to a negative.
adjective
  1. Definitively laid down; explicitly stated; clearly expressed, precise, emphatic.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive words, that he would not bear arms against King Edward"s son.
      1. Fully assured, confident; certain.
      I"m absolutely you've spelt that wrong.
      1. Overconfident, dogmatic.
    • Pope:
    • : Some , persisting fops we know, That, if once wrong, will needs be always so.
      1. (grammar) Describing the primary sense of an adjective or adverb; not comparative or superlative.
      "Better" is an irregular comparative of the form "good".
      1. Derived from an object by itself; not dependent on changing circumstances or relations; absolute.
      The idea of beauty is not , but depends on the different tastes of individuals.
      1. Wholly what is expressed; colloquially downright, entire, outright.
      Good lord, you've built up a arsenal of weaponry here.
      1. Characterised by the existence or presence of qualities or features, rather than by their absence.
      The box was not empty " I felt some substance within it.
      1. Characterised by the presence of features which support a hypothesis.
      The results of our experiment are .
      1. Characterised by affirmation, constructiveness, or influence for the better; favourable.
      He has a outlook on life.
      The first-night reviews were largely .
    • Swift:
    • : a voice in legislation.
      1. (context, chiefly, philosophy) actual, Actual, real, concrete.
    • Bacon:
    • : Positive good.
      1. (photography) Of a visual image, true to the original in light, shade and colour values.
      A photograph can be developed from a photographic negative.
      1. (physics) Having more protons than electrons.
      A cation is a positive ion as it has more protons than electrons.
      1. (slang) HIV positive.
postnatal Tweet Definition of postnatal Like Definition of postnatal on Facebook
adjective
  1. of or pertaining to the period immediately after birth
postpartum Tweet Definition of postpartum Like Definition of postpartum on Facebook
adjective
  1. postnatal
poultice Tweet Definition of poultice Like Definition of poultice on Facebook
noun (Plural:poultices)
  1. A soft moist mass applied topically to sore, aching or lesioned part of the body to sooth. The poultice is usually wrapped in cloth and often warmed before being applied.
predisposition Tweet Definition of predisposition Like Definition of predisposition on Facebook
noun
  1. the state of being predisposed or susceptible to something, especially to a disease or other health problem
pregnancy Tweet Definition of pregnancy Like Definition of pregnancy on Facebook
noun (pregnancies)
  1. the condition of being pregnant
pregnant Tweet Definition of pregnant Like Definition of pregnant on Facebook
adjective
  1. (notcomparable) Carrying developing offspring within the body.
  2. (comparable) Having many possibility, possibilities or implications.
prenatal Tweet Definition of prenatal Like Definition of prenatal on Facebook
adjective
  1. Being or happening before birth.
prescribe Tweet Definition of prescribe Like Definition of prescribe on Facebook
verb (prescrib, ing)
  1. To order (a drug or medical device) for use by a particular patient.
  2. To specify as a required procedure or ritual.
prescription Tweet Definition of prescription Like Definition of prescription on Facebook
noun
  1. the act of prescribing a rule, law, etc.
"Jurisdiction to prescribe" is a state's authority to make its laws applicable to certain persons or activities. -- Richard G. Alexander, Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996: Congress exceeds its jurisdiction to prescribe law. Washington and Lee Law Review, 1997.
  1. a written order, as by a physician, for the administration of a medicine or other intervention
The surgeon wrote a for a pain killer and physical therapy.
  1. the medicine or intervention so prescribed
The pharmacist gave her a bottle containing her .
  1. the formal description of the lens geometry needed for spectacles, etc.
The optician followed the optometrist's for her new eyeglasses.
  1. advice
"Early to bed and early to rise" is a for a healthy lifestyle.
adjective
  1. (of a drug, etc.) only available with a physician's written prescription
Many powerful pain killers are drugs in the U.S.
preventive Tweet Definition of preventive Like Definition of preventive on Facebook
noun
  1. (nonstandard) A thing that prevents, hinders, or acts as an obstacle to.
  2. (nonstandard) A thing that slows the development of an illness.
  3. A contraceptive, especially a condom.
adjective
  1. prevent, Preventing, hindering, or acting as an obstacle to.
  2. Carried out to deter military aggression.
  3. slow, Slowing the development of an illness; prophylactic.
primary care Tweet Definition of primary care Like Definition of primary care on Facebook
noun
  1. the medical attention that a patient receives upon first contact with a healthcare system; either a general practitioner or the A&E or ER department of a hospital
proctology Tweet Definition of proctology Like Definition of proctology on Facebook
noun
  1. Branch of learning dealing with the colon, rectum and anus.
proctoscope Tweet Definition of proctoscope Like Definition of proctoscope on Facebook
noun
  1. a tube-like instrument, equipped with a light, used to examine the rectum; a rectoscope
prognosis Tweet Definition of prognosis Like Definition of prognosis on Facebook
noun (prognoses)
  1. A prediction of the course or outcome of a disease or disorder.
  2. A prediction about how a given situation will develop in the future.
  3. Any forecast or prediction.
prognostic Tweet Definition of prognostic Like Definition of prognostic on Facebook
noun
  1. a sign by which a future event may be known or foretold; an indication; a sign or omen; hence, a foretelling; a prediction.
    Careful observers may foretell the hour
    (By sure prognostics) when to dread a show"r.
    While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o"er
    Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. Jonathan Swift
  2. A sign or symptom indicating the course and termination of a disease.
adjective
  1. of or relating to prognosis, prediction
Progressive Tweet Definition of Progressive Like Definition of Progressive on Facebook
proper noun
  1. A member or supporter of a Progressive Party
prophylactic Tweet Definition of prophylactic Like Definition of prophylactic on Facebook
noun
  1. A medicine which preserves or defends against disease; a preventive.
  2. American usage only (dated) Specifically, a prophylactic condom.
1977, Human Life Center, International Review of Natural Family Planning, Human Life Center, St. John's University (1977), p. 2,
  • It is not clear whether such education is to be directed to homosexuals (for whom prophylactics are not a contraceptive) or to heterosexuals as well (for whom prophylactics are a contraceptive).
1994, Mary Louise Roberts, Civilization Without Sexes: reconstructing gender in postwar France, 1917-1927, University of Chicago Press (1994), p. 96,
  • Given the widespread use of coitus interruptus and male prophylactics as contraceptive practices in France …
  • 2000, Peter Parnell and John Irving, The Cider House Rules: Here in St. Cloud's, Dramatists Play Service, Inc. (2000), p. 46,
  • Some men put the on just the tip of the penis: this is a mistake, because the prophylactic will come off.
  • adjective
    1. prophylactical, Prophylactical.
    protocol Tweet Definition of protocol Like Definition of protocol on Facebook
    noun
    1. A rule which guides how an activity should be performed.
    2. The original copy of any writing, as of a deed, treaty, dispatch, or other instrument.
    3. The minutes, or rough draft, of an instrument or transaction.
    4. (context, diplomacy) A preliminary document upon the basis of which negotiations are carried on.
    5. (context, diplomacy) A convention not formally ratified.
    6. (context, diplomacy) An agreement of diplomatists indicating the results reached by them at a particular stage of a negotiation.
    7. (computing) A set of formal rules describing how to transmit data, especially across a network. A message syntax or electrical specification and a description 2 or more communication nodes: finite state machine, state machines, the transition function, transition functions of which take messages or times as input and, when then so triggered, may themselves send messages.
    verb
    1. (obsolete), (transitive): To make a protocol of.
    2. (obsolete), (intransitive): To make or write protocols, or first drafts; to issue protocols.
    (Webster)      
    public health Tweet Definition of public health Like Definition of public health on Facebook
    noun
    1. (medicine) The science and practice of community hygiene; includes preventive medicine, health education, sanitation and environmental safety.
    puerperal Tweet Definition of puerperal Like Definition of puerperal on Facebook
    adjective derived from puerperum
    1. Of or pertaining to or associated with childbirth.
    pulse Tweet Definition of pulse Like Definition of pulse on Facebook
    noun
    1. Any annual legume yielding from 1 to 12 grains or seeds of variable size, shape and colour within a pod, and used as food for humans or animals.
    2. (physiology) A normally regular beat felt when arteries are depressed, caused by the pumping action of the heart.
    3. A beat, throb.
    4. (music) A periodically recurring short stimulus, perceived as points in time. (DeLone? et. al. (Eds.), 1975, chap. 3) Often the stimuli are defined as identical (Cooper & Meyer, 1960). (rfc, music definition needs rewritten because the current one is copyrighted)
    pulsometer Tweet Definition of pulsometer Like Definition of pulsometer on Facebook
    noun
    1. a vacuum pump or hydrotrope
    purge Tweet Definition of purge Like Definition of purge on Facebook
    noun
    1. the act of purging
    2. evacuation of the bowels or of pipes
    3. forcible removal of undesirable people from political activity, etc.
    verb (purg, ing)
    1. (transitive) to clean thoroughly; to cleanse; to rid of impurity, impurities
    2. (transitive) (religion) to free from sin, guilt, or the burden or responsibility of misdeeds
    3. (transitive) (medicine) to void the bowel
    4. (transitive) (law) to clear of a charge, suspicion, or imputation