macula

noun
mac·​u·​la | \ ˈma-kyə-lə How to pronounce macula (audio) \
plural maculae\ ˈma-​kyə-​ˌlē How to pronounce maculae (audio) , -​ˌlī How to pronounce maculae (audio) \ also maculas

Definition of macula

1 : spot, blotch especially : macule
2a : an anatomical structure having the form of a spot differentiated from surrounding tissues
b : a small yellowish area lying slightly lateral to the center of the retina that is made up mostly of cones (see cone entry 1 sense 3a), plays a key role in visual acuity, and has the fovea at its center

called also macula lutea, yellow spot

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from macula

macular \ ˈma-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce macular (audio) \ adjective

Examples of macula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Other carotenoids are found in our kidneys, livers skin, immune system, fat cells and so on, but lutein and zeaxanthin are the main carotenoids in our macula (the vision center of the eye) and brain. Daphne Miller, Washington Post, "Lutein supplements are everywhere. Here’s what you need to know about this nutrient.," 23 Sep. 2019 The back of the eye, called the retina, has a delicate central area known as the macula. Time, "How Wearing Sunglasses Actually Impacts Your Eyes, According to Science," 26 Aug. 2019 This image shows a mosaic of cells within the utricular macula—the thin membrane within the ear that helps maintain balance. Jennifer Leman, Scientific American, "The Brain in Images: Top Entries in the Art of Neuroscience," 29 July 2019 The macula is responsible for the straight-ahead vision used for things like reading, driving, and seeing faces. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes," 8 Nov. 2018 Then there’s the related condition diabetic macular edema (DME), a repercussion of diabetic retinopathy that causes a buildup of fluid in a part of the retina called the macula, the NEI explains. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes," 8 Nov. 2018 The disease causes weakening of the macula, which is the small area at the center of the retina, which is specialized for fine vision. Andrea K. Mcdaniels, baltimoresun.com, "Ask the Expert: Macular degeneration can lead to difficulty reading, recognizing faces and performing other fine tasks," 17 Apr. 2018 Bleeding and swelling of the macula results in macular edema and eventually, maculopathy, while starvation of the retina leads to a chain-reaction of negative events that eventually results in diabetic retinopathy. Jewish Journal, "Taking a stand against hookah smoking on Passover, or anytime," 12 Mar. 2018 This condition leads to a loss of sharp vision in the center of the retina (the macula). Joe, The Seattle Times, "Saffron supplement may save eyesight," 28 Jan. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of macula

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for macula

Middle English, borrowed from Latin, "stain, spot, blemish, one of the interstices of a net," of uncertain origin

Note: If macula goes back to *sma-tlā, then *sma- may represent an Indo-European base *smh1- seen in Greek smáō, smân "to cleanse, wipe clean," smêma "ointment."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about macula

Time Traveler for macula

Time Traveler

The first known use of macula was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for macula

Last Updated

25 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Macula.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macula. Accessed 22 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for macula

macula

noun
mac·​u·​la | \ ˈmak-yə-lə How to pronounce macula (audio) \
plural maculae\ -​ˌlē How to pronounce maculae (audio) , -​ˌlī How to pronounce maculae (audio) \ also maculas

Medical Definition of macula

1 : a spot or blotch especially : macule sense 2
2 : an anatomical structure having the form of a spot differentiated from surrounding tissues: as
b : a small yellowish area lying slightly lateral to the center of the retina that is made up mostly of cones, plays a key role in visual acuity, and has the fovea at its center

called also macula lutea, yellow spot

More from Merriam-Webster on macula

Britannica English: Translation of macula for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about macula

Comments on macula

What made you want to look up macula? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to help to grow, develop, or succeed

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!