noun \ˈsplēn\

: an organ located near your stomach that destroys worn-out red blood cells and produces white blood cells

: feelings of anger

Full Definition of SPLEEN

:  a highly vascular ductless organ that is located in the left abdominal region near the stomach or intestine of most vertebrates and is concerned with final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes
obsolete :  the seat of emotions or passions
archaic :  melancholy
:  feelings of anger or ill will often suppressed
obsolete :  a sudden impulse or whim :  caprice

Examples of SPLEEN

  1. <vented her spleen and felt much better for having done so>
  2. <the bill's failure to pass in the legislature was due to nothing more than partisan spleen>

Origin of SPLEEN

Middle English splen, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French espleen, from Latin splen, from Greek splēn; akin to Latin lien spleen, Sanskrit plīhan
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Anatomy Terms

bilateral symmetry, carotid, cartilage, dorsal, entrails, prehensile, renal, solar plexus, supine, thoracic, ventral


noun \ˈsplēn\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SPLEEN

: a highly vascular ductless abdominal organ of vertebrates that resembles a gland in organization but is closely associated with the circulatory system, that plays a role in the final destruction of red blood cells, filtration and storage of blood, and production of lymphocytes, and that in humans is a dark purplish flattened oblong object of a soft fragile consistency lying near the cardiac end of the stomach and consisting largely of blood and lymphoid tissue enclosed in a fibroelastic capsule from which trabeculae ramify through the tissue of the organ which is divisible into a loose friable red pulp in intimate connection with the blood supply and with red blood cells free in its interstices and a denser white pulp chiefly of lymphoid tissue condensed in masses about the small arteries


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Lymphoid organ, located in the left side of the abdomen behind the stomach. The spleen is the primary filtering element for the blood, and it is a storage site for red blood cells (erythrocytes) and platelets. It is one of four places where reticuloendothelial cells are found (see reticuloendothelial system). Two types of tissue, red pulp and white pulp, are intermixed. The white pulp is lymphoid tissue containing lymphocyte production centres. The red pulp is a network of channels filled with blood where most of the filtration occurs and is the major site of destruction of deteriorating erythrocytes and recycling of their hemoglobin. Both contain cells (see leukocyte) that remove foreign material and initiate an antibody-producing process. The spleen becomes enlarged in some infections. Its rupture in high-impact injuries may require surgical removal, which leaves the patient more susceptible to overwhelming infection.


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