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[kahr-suh-noh-muh] /ˌkɑr səˈnoʊ mə/
noun, plural carcinomas, carcinomata
[kahr-suh-noh-muh-tuh] /ˌkɑr səˈnoʊ mə tə/ (Show IPA).
a malignant and invasive epithelial tumor that spreads by metastasis and often recurs after excision; cancer.
Origin of carcinoma
1715-25; < Latin: ulcer, tumor < Greek karkínōma; see carcino-, -oma
Related forms
carcinomatoid, adjective
carcinomatous, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carcinoma
  • Basal cell carcinoma is a slow-growing form of skin cancer.
  • Pancreatic cancer, renal-cell carcinoma and melanoma are all thought to be susceptible to this approach.
  • Our oncologist can tell us that when he biopsies another carcinoma.
  • Medullary carcinoma of the thyroid is cancer of the thyroid gland that starts in cells that release a hormone called calcitonin.
  • As a result there was no significant increase observed in the number of thyroid carcinoma.
  • The hallmark of this disorder is the appearance of a type of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma at or around puberty.
  • Two main types of esophageal cancer exist: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.
  • Canine prostate carcinoma: epidemiological evidence of an increased risk in castrated dogs.
  • It's a candy store for hypochondriacs, where a sniffle can spell pneumococcal, an itch can mean squamous carcinoma.
  • Invasive squamous cell carcinoma in epithelial tissue from a human mouth.
British Dictionary definitions for carcinoma


noun (pathol) (pl) -mas, -mata (-mətə)
any malignant tumour derived from epithelial tissue
another name for cancer (sense 1)
Derived Forms
carcinomatoid, carcinomatous, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, from Greek karkinōma, from karkinoscancer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for carcinoma

"malignant tumor," 1721, from Latin carcinoma, from Greek karkinoma "a cancer," from karkinos "cancer," literally "crab" (see cancer) + -oma.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carcinoma in Medicine

carcinoma car·ci·no·ma (kär'sə-nō'mə)
n. pl. car·ci·no·mas or car·ci·no·ma·ta (-mə-tə)

Abbr. CA An invasive malignant tumor derived from epithelial tissue that tends to metastasize to other areas of the body.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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carcinoma in Science
Plural carcinomas or carcinomata (kär'sə-nō'mə-tə)
Any of various cancerous tumors that are derived from epithelial tissue of the skin, blood vessels, or other organs and that tend to metastasize to other parts of the body. See also basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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carcinoma in Culture
carcinoma [(kahr-suh-noh-muh)]

A malignant tumor in the tissues that make up the skin, glands, mucous membranes, and lining of organs.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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