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 Progesterone acts on the brain’s hypothalamus (the temperature control center), which increases the set-point temperature. Jason Karp, Outside Online, 14 Mar. 2014 These nonvisual cells are also the primary timekeeper for our biological clocks—our circadian rhythms—located in the suprachiasmatic nuclei, a region of the hypothalamus in the brain. Steven Lockley, Scientific American, 18 Mar. 2021 For years neuroscientists studying appetite focused mainly either on the hypothalamus, a brain area involved in regulating energy balance, or on reward-processing centers such as the nucleus accumbens. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, 20 Jan. 2022 Estrogen has the opposite effect on the hypothalamus, decreasing body temperature, which explains why body temperature is lower during the estrogen-dominant follicular phase. Jason Karp, Outside Online, 14 Mar. 2014 This form of narcolepsy occurs when the brain's hypothalamus region gets damaged, according to Harvard's Division of Sleep Medicine. Sarah Fielding, Health.com, 8 Dec. 2021 Secondary narcolepsy, in which a person experiences narcolepsy symptoms due to damage of the brain's hypothalamus region. Sarah Fielding, Health.com, 3 Nov. 2021 Some of us have to be the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the bile duct. Josh Max, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 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, 22 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of hypothalamus was in 1896

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Last Updated

9 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hypothalamus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypothalamus. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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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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