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1690s, from French glande (Old French glandre, 13c.), from Latin glandula "gland of the throat, tonsil," diminutive of glans (genitive glandis) "acorn, nut; acorn-shaped ball," from PIE root *gwele- "acorn" (cf. Greek balanos, Armenian kalin, Old Church Slavonic zelodi "acorn;" Lithuanian gile "oak"). Earlier English form was glandula (c.1400).
A cell, a group of cells, or an organ that produces a secretion for use in or for elimination from the body.
Any of various organs, such as lymph nodes, that resemble true glands but perform a nonsecretory function.
An organ or group of specialized cells in the body that produces and secretes a specific substance, such as a hormone. See also endocrine gland, exocrine gland.
Organs or groups of cells that take substances from the blood and change them chemically so that they can be secreted later for further use by the body. There are two kinds of glands: those that secrete their substances directly into the bloodstream (endocrine glands), and those that secrete their substances through channels or ducts (such as sweat glands and salivary glands).