Cowper's gland

Cowper's gland

[kou-perz, koo-]
noun Anatomy, Zoology.
either of two small glands that secrete a mucous substance into the male urethra.
Also called bulbourethral gland.


Origin:
1730–40; named after William Cowper (1666–1709), English anatomist, who discovered them

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Cowper's gland
1738, so called because discovered by anatomist William Cowper (1666-1709); see Cooper.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Cowper's gland Cow·per's gland (kou'pərz, kōō'-)
n.
See bulbourethral gland.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

cowper's gland

either of two pea-shaped glands in the male, located beneath the prostate gland at the beginning of the internal portion of the penis; they add fluids to semen during the process of ejaculation (q.v.). The glands, which measure only about 1 cm (0.4 inch) in diameter, have ducts that empty into the urethra, the tube through which both urine and semen pass. They are composed of a network of small tubes, or tubules, and saclike structures; between the tubules are fibres of muscle and elastic tissue that give the glands structural support. Cells within the tubules and sacs contain droplets of mucus, a thick protein compound. The fluid excreted by these glands is clear and thick and acts as a lubricant; it is also thought to function as a flushing agent that washes out the urethra before the semen is ejaculated; it may also help to make the semen less watery and to provide a suitable living environment for the sperm. See also prostate gland; seminal vesicle.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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