Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[krip-tawr-ki-diz-uh m] /krɪpˈtɔr kɪˌdɪz əm/
noun, Pathology
failure of one or both testes to descend into the scrotum.
Also, cryptorchism
[krip-tawr-kiz-uh m] /krɪpˈtɔr kɪz əm/ (Show IPA)
1880-85; < New Latin cryptorchidismus, equivalent to crypt- crypto- + orchid- (< Greek orchid-; see orchid) + -ismus -ism
Related forms
cryptorchid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for cryptorchid


an animal or human in which the testes fail to descend into the scrotum
denoting or relating to such an individual
Derived Forms
cryptorchidism, noun
Word Origin
from crypto- + orchid, from Greek orkhis testicle
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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for cryptorchid


disorder in which one or both of the testes do not descend spontaneously to the usual position in the scrotum. (The testes normally descend around the time of the male infant's birth.) Usually only one testis fails to descend into the scrotum; the other, descended testis suffices to ensure the individual's normal male sexuality. Cases in which both testes fail to descend are rare and are more serious, since undescended testes are usually nonfunctional (i.e., produce few or no sperm), and the development of normal male sexuality is thus threatened. An undescended testis remains within the inguinal canal or in the abdominal cavity. Besides being nonfunctional, an undescended testis is more likely to be injured, and the blood supply to it is more likely to be cut off by twisting. Also, testicular cancer is 5 to 10 times more likely to develop in an undescended testis, even if the condition is corrected through surgery

Learn more about cryptorchidism with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for cryptorchidism

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cryptorchid

Scrabble Words With Friends