Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[men-stroo-ey-shuh n, -strey-] /ˌmɛn struˈeɪ ʃən, -ˈstreɪ-/
the periodic discharge of blood and mucosal tissue from the uterus, occurring approximately monthly from puberty to menopause in nonpregnant women and females of other primate species.
the period of menstruating.
1770-80; menstruate + -ion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for menstruation
  • As nutrition and living conditions improved, the age at first menstruation occurred two to three months earlier each decade.
  • Abdominal pain that occurs during menstruation may be from menstrual cramps or it may indicate a problem in a reproductive organ.
  • After menstruation starts, the ovaries begin to produce and release eggs, which have been stored in the ovaries since birth.
  • Sometimes, adjusting medications in anticipation of menstruation may help prevent attacks.
British Dictionary definitions for menstruation


the approximately monthly discharge of blood and cellular debris from the uterus by nonpregnant women from puberty to the menopause Also called menses Nontechnical name period
Derived Forms
menstruous (ˈmɛnstrʊəs) adjective
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
Word Origin and History for menstruation

1680s, from Late Latin menstruare, from menstruus "monthly" (see menstrual) + -ation. Old English equivalent was monaðblot "month-blood." Middle English had menstrue (n.), late 14c., from Old French menstrue, from Latin menstruum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
menstruation in Medicine

menstruation men·stru·a·tion (měn'strōō-ā'shən)
The process or an instance of discharging the menses.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
menstruation in Science
The monthly flow of blood from the uterus beginning at puberty in girls and other female primates. Also called menses. See also menstrual cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
menstruation in Culture
menstruation [(men-strooh-ay-shuhn)]

The periodic discharge of the blood-enriched lining of the uterus through the vagina. Menstruation marks the end of one menstrual cycle and the beginning of another.

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for menstruation

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for menstruation

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with menstruation

Nearby words for menstruation