hy·​po·​thal·​a·​mus | \ ˌhī-pō-ˈtha-lə-məs How to pronounce hypothalamus (audio) \

Definition of hypothalamus

: a basal part of the diencephalon that lies beneath the thalamus on each side, forms the floor of the third ventricle, and includes vital autonomic regulatory centers

Examples of hypothalamus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web However, the areas of the brain controlling essential behaviors are thought to be conserved in evolution in all vertebrates, particularly the parts of the hypothalamus that control feeding, reproduction, mating and parenting. Quanta Magazine, "Catherine Dulac Finds Brain Circuitry Behind Sex-Specific Behaviors," 14 Dec. 2020 Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary gland. Daniel Dorsa, Smithsonian Magazine, "The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs," 17 Nov. 2020 Factors such as body mass, activity in the hypothalamus (the brain’s thermostat), metabolic rate, and even height can dictate who sweats and who shivers under the exact same conditions. Dan Seitz, Popular Science, "Keep your home warm without blasting the heat," 11 Nov. 2020 Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus region at the base of the brain and secreted by the pituitary gland. Sarah Graham, refinery29.com, "The Truth About Oxytocin AKA The Love Hormone," 16 Oct. 2020 The second area—cumbersomely dubbed the ventrolateral part of the ventromedial hypothalamus, or VMHvl—is associated with aggression. Emily Willingham, Scientific American, "Neural Switch Flips on Aggression in Male Mice," 3 Aug. 2020 Inside the brain the cytokines reach the hypothalamus, your body's thermostat, and interfere with its functioning to crank up the temperature. Claire Maldarelli, Popular Science, "An exhaustive account of how the flu destroys your body," 22 Feb. 2018 Some disorders of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland or ovaries can affect menstruation. Washington Post, "Another routine the pandemic has disrupted: Your period," 24 Aug. 2020 The hypothalamus tells our adrenal glands to pump stress hormones — cortisol and epinephrine — to prepare our bodies to fight or run. Stephanie Anderson Witmer, Good Housekeeping, "Why Politics Makes You So Angry, According to Psychologists," 24 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypothalamus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hypothalamus

1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hypothalamus

borrowed from New Latin (in a German context), from hypo- hypo- + thalamus thalamus

Note: The term was introduced in an article by the Swiss-born anatomist Wilhelm His (1831-1904), "Ueber das frontale Ende des Gehirnrohres," Archiv für Anatomie und Physiologie: Anatomische Abtheilung, Jahrgang 1893, p. 159. His attributes the suggestion of the word to his colleague "Waldeyer" (the anatomist Heinrich Wilhelm Gottfried von Waldeyer-Hartz, 1836-1921), as a replacement for his own coinage Regio subthalamica.

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Time Traveler for hypothalamus

Time Traveler

The first known use of hypothalamus was in 1896

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Last Updated

28 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hypothalamus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothalamus. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hypothalamus


hy·​po·​thal·​a·​mus | \ -ˈthal-ə-məs How to pronounce hypothalamus (audio) \
plural hypothalami\ -​ˌmī How to pronounce hypothalamus (audio) \

Medical Definition of hypothalamus

: a basal part of the diencephalon that lies beneath the thalamus on each side, forms the floor of the third ventricle, and includes vital autonomic regulatory centers (as for the control of food intake)

More from Merriam-Webster on hypothalamus

Nglish: Translation of hypothalamus for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hypothalamus

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