Definition of ectopic
: occurring in an abnormal position or in an unusual manner or form <ectopic lesions>
ectopicallyplay \ek-ˈtä-pi-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Did You Know?
Ectopic is a medical word that means basically "out of place". An ectopic kidney is located in an abnormal position. In patients with an ectopic heartbeat, the electrical signals that trigger the heart muscles originate in an abnormal area of the heart. But ectopic most commonly describes a pregnancy in which the fertilized egg begins to develop in an area outside the uterus, such as in a fallopian tube; such pregnancies may lead to serious problems if not treated.
Origin and Etymology of ectopic
Greek ektopos out of place, from ex- out + topos place
First Known Use: 1873
Medical Definition of ectopic
1: occurring in an abnormal position <an ectopic kidney>—compare entopic
2: originating in an area of the heart other than the sinoatrial node <ectopic beats>; also : initiating ectopic heartbeats <an ectopic pacemaker>
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