mel·​a·​no·​ma | \ ˌme-lə-ˈnō-mə How to pronounce melanoma (audio) \
plural melanomas also melanomata\ ˌme-​lə-​ˈnō-​mə-​tə How to pronounce melanoma (audio) \

Definition of melanoma

1 : a tumor containing dark pigment
2 : a highly malignant tumor that starts in melanocytes of normal skin or moles and metastasizes rapidly and widely

Examples of melanoma in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web People who have a family history of melanoma are more likely to develop the disease. New York Times, 10 Jan. 2022 This stage of melanoma goes beyond the very outer layer of skin, into the thicker dermis layer of the skin, according to the Melanoma Research Alliance. Korin Miller,, 4 Jan. 2022 Even worse, Brown said, patient diagnoses fell through the cracks; for months, the office didn’t follow through on treating a patient’s melanoma, for example. NBC News, 20 Dec. 2021 People who have survived melanoma will urge you to do just that. Nicola Dall'asen, Allure, 24 May 2021 The company has developed and combined two genomics tests for detecting melanoma, now marketed as the DermTech Melanoma Test. Dallas News, 3 Oct. 2021 More on melanoma and other skin conditions: Done reading? Magdalene Taylor, Allure, 26 May 2021 OncoHost has started testing its precision medicine technology with patients diagnosed with advanced stages of melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and receiving immunotherapy, in the U.S., U.K., Europe, and Israel. Gil Press, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 Now 80, he has been diagnosed over the years with acid reflux disease, asthma, and also thyroid cancer and skin melanoma, for which he was successfully treated. David B. Caruso, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'melanoma.' 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 melanoma

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for melanoma

melan- (in melanosis, melanotic) + -oma

Learn More About melanoma

Time Traveler for melanoma

Time Traveler

The first known use of melanoma was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near melanoma




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for melanoma

Last Updated

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Melanoma.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for melanoma



English Language Learners Definition of melanoma

: a type of cancer or tumor that begins as a dark spot or area on the skin


mel·​a·​no·​ma | \ ˌmel-ə-ˈnō-mə How to pronounce melanoma (audio) \
plural melanomas also melanomata\ -​mət-​ə How to pronounce melanoma (audio) \

Medical Definition of melanoma

1 : a benign or malignant skin tumor containing dark pigment
2 : a tumor of high malignancy that starts in melanocytes of normal skin or moles and metastasizes rapidly and widely

called also malignant melanoma, melanocarcinoma, melanoepithelioma, melanosarcoma


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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