macula

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

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Other Words from macula

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

Examples of macula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Another region on the retina, called the macula, is where most of the visual receptors are located. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "She Had a Headache for Months. Then She Could Barely See.," 28 Oct. 2020 In this patient, the macula was normal on the right but appeared swollen and discolored on the left. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "She Had a Headache for Months. Then She Could Barely See.," 28 Oct. 2020 Dry macular degeneration is a condition in which layers of the macula get progressively thinner and atrophy, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Ashton Nichols, Dallas News, "Bedford biomedical firm receives $2 million to begin macular degeneration trials," 3 June 2020 This happens because the drug can build up in the macula and other parts of the eye, eventually causing blindness. Camela Thompson, STAT, "Life with lupus: Trump’s hydroxychloroquine hype puts my treatment — and himself — at risk," 20 May 2020 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

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.

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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."

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Time Traveler for macula

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Macula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/macula. Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for macula

macula

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

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