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[pi-too-i-ter-ee, -tyoo-] /pɪˈtu ɪˌtɛr i, -ˈtyu-/
noun, plural pituitaries.
Pharmacology. the extract obtained from the lobes of the pituitary glands of hogs, sheep, and other domestic animals: the posterior lobe constituent increases blood pressure, contracts stomach muscles, etc., and the anterior lobe constituent regulates growth of the skeleton.
of, relating to, or involving the pituitary gland.
noting a physical type of abnormal size with overgrown extremities resulting from excessive pituitary secretion.
Origin of pituitary
1605-15; < Latin pītuītārius pertaining to or secreting phlegm. See pip2, -ary
Related forms
postpituitary, adjective
prepituitary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pituitary
  • The hypothalamus controls hormone secretions from the nearby pituitary gland.
  • He invented a medical instrument that allowed doctors to reach the pituitary gland more easily.
  • The virus has also been detected in pituitary and thyroid tumors.
  • It's believed that a tumor on her pituitary gland caused her abnormal growth.
  • She subjected him to pituitary shots, because she felt they might accelerate his development.
  • It is synthesized and secreted by cells in the anterior pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.
  • It is interesting that the brain may stimulate an immune response, probably from the pituitary or the glia cells directly.
  • The pituitary gland releases its own opiates, which suppress pain.
  • Oxytocin, produced by the pituitary, does cross the blood-brain barrier and is released through stimulation of lactation.
  • In pituitary tumors with well-defined borders, surgery is the treatment of choice and can cure many cases.
British Dictionary definitions for pituitary


/pɪˈtjuːɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
noun (pl) -taries
of or relating to the pituitary gland
(archaic) of or relating to phlegm or mucus
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin pītuītārius slimy, from pītuīta phlegm
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 pituitary

1610s, from Latin pituitarius "mucous," from pituita "clammy moisture, phlegm, mucus, slime," possibly from PIE root *peie- "to be fat, swell" (see pine (n.)). Taken as the name for the gland because it was believed that it channeled mucus to the nose. As a noun by 1899.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pituitary in Medicine

pituitary pi·tu·i·tar·y (pĭ-tōō'ĭ-těr'ē, -tyōō'-)

  1. The pituitary gland.

  2. An extract from the anterior or posterior lobes of the pituitary gland, prepared for therapeutic use.

  1. Of or relating to the pituitary gland.

  2. Of or secreting phlegm or mucus; mucous.

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