follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

thalamus

[thal-uh-muh s] /ˈθæl ə məs/
noun, plural thalami
[thal-uh-mahy] /ˈθæl əˌmaɪ/ (Show IPA)
1.
Anatomy. the middle part of the diencephalon through which sensory impulses pass to reach the cerebral cortex.
2.
Botany. a receptacle or torus.
3.
Also called thalamium. an apartment for women in an ancient Greek house.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705; < New Latin; Latin: bedroom < Greek thálamos
Related forms
thalamic
[thuh-lam-ik] /θəˈlæm ɪk/ (Show IPA),
adjective
thalamically, adverb
postthalamic, adjective
subthalamic, adjective
transthalamic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for thalami

thalamus

/ˈθæləməs/
noun (pl) -mi (-ˌmaɪ)
1.
either of the two contiguous egg-shaped masses of grey matter at the base of the brain
2.
both of these masses considered as a functional unit
3.
the receptacle or torus of a flower
Derived Forms
thalamic (θəˈlæmɪk) adjective
thalamically, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from Latin, Greek thalamos inner room; probably related to Greek tholos vault
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 thalami

thalamus

n.

1753, "the receptacle of a flower," Modern Latin, from Latin thalamus "inner chamber," from Greek thalamos "inner chamber, bedroom," related to thalame "den, lair," tholos "vault, vaulted building." Used since 1756 of a part of the forebrain where a nerve appears to originate.

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

thalamus thal·a·mus (thāl'ə-məs)
n. pl. thal·a·mi (-mī')
A large ovoid mass of gray matter that forms the larger dorsal subdivision of the diencephalon and is located medial to the internal capsule and to the body and tail of the caudate nucleus. It functions in the relay of sensory impulses to the cerebral cortex.


tha·lam'ic (thə-lām'ĭk) adj.
tha·lam'i·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
thalami in Science
thalamus
  (thāl'ə-məs)   
Plural thalami (thāl'ə-mī')
The part of the vertebrate brain that lies at the rear of the forebrain. It relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex and regulates the perception of touch, pain, and temperature.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
thalami in Culture
thalamus [(thal-uh-muhs)]

The part of the brain that coordinates nerve impulses relating to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and taste.

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
Encyclopedia Article for thalami

thalamus

either of a pair of large, ovoid organs that form most of the lateral walls of the third ventricle of the brain. The thalamus translates neural impulses from various receptors to the cerebral cortex, where they are experienced as the appropriate sensations of touch, pain, or temperature, during the waking state, and it regulates synaptic transmissions (i.e., incoming impulses) during resting states.

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for thalamus

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for thalami

12
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for thalami