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thymus

[thahy-muh s] /ˈθaɪ məs/
noun, plural thymuses, thymi
[thahy-mahy] /ˈθaɪ maɪ/ (Show IPA).
Anatomy
1.
a ductless, butterfly-shaped gland lying at the base of the neck, formed mostly of lymphatic tissue and aiding in the production of T cells of the immune system: after puberty, the lymphatic tissue gradually degenerates.
Also called thymus gland.
Origin
1685-1695
1685-95; < New Latin < Greek thýmos warty excrescence, thymus
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for thymus gland

thymus

/ˈθaɪməs/
noun (pl) -muses, -mi (-maɪ)
1.
a glandular organ of vertebrates, consisting in man of two lobes situated below the thyroid. In early life it produces lymphocytes and is thought to influence certain immunological responses. It atrophies with age and is almost nonexistent in the adult
Word Origin
C17: from New Latin, from Greek thumos sweetbread
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 thymus gland

thymus

n.

gland near the base of the neck, 1690s, Modern Latin, from Greek thymos "a warty excrescence," used of the gland by Galen, literally "thyme," probably so called because of a fancied resemblance to a bunch of thyme (see thyme).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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thymus gland in Medicine

thymus thy·mus (thī'məs)
n. pl. thy·mus·es

  1. A lymphoid organ that is located in the superior mediastinum and lower part of the neck and is necessary in early life for the normal development of immunological function.

  2. The thymus of a calf or lamb.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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thymus gland in Science
thymus
  (thī'məs)   
An organ of the lymphatic system located behind the upper sternum (breastbone). T cells (T lymphocytes) develop and mature in the thymus before entering the circulation. In humans, the thymus stops growing in early childhood and gradually shrinks in size through adulthood, resulting in a gradual decline in immune system function.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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thymus gland in Culture
thymus gland [(theye-muhs)]

A gland located behind the breastbone that functions in the development of the immune system. The thymus is large in infancy and early childhood but begins to atrophy between ages eight and ten.

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