mel·​a·​no·​ma | \ˌme-lə-ˈnō-mə \
plural melanomas also melanomata\ -​mə-​tə \

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

Whithorn was reportedly diagnosed with acral lentiginous subungual melanoma (ALM), which appears on the palms of hands, soles of feet, or under nails. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Woman claims nail-biting habit linked to cancer diagnosis," 7 Sep. 2018 In one set of experiments, scientists native receptors in immune cells with receptors created to seek out melanoma cells. Brett Molina, USA TODAY, "Gene editing technique could improve cancer treatments, other ailments," 12 July 2018 In the new study, Dr. Marson and his colleagues engineered T-cells to recognize human melanoma cells. Gina Kolata, New York Times, "Swift Gene-Editing Method May Revolutionize Treatments for Cancer and Infectious Diseases," 11 July 2018 Uterine, cervical, thyroid, breast, gastrointestinal, and non-melanoma skin cancers were all found to be more prevalent in flight attendants, according to an article published Monday in the journal Environmental Health. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Flight Attendants Have Higher Cancer Rates, Study Finds," 26 June 2018 Just south of Iredell County, the town of Huntersville is using a $100,000 state grant to look for answers to an unusual number of cases of a rare eye cancer called ocular melanoma. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "These Charlotte-area ZIP codes have unusually high cancer rates," 21 June 2018 For example, this study’s training set did not include most melanoma mimickers beyond moles. Caroline Nelson, Washington Post, "Forget ‘man vs. machine.’ When doctors compete with artificial intelligence, patients lose.," 12 June 2018 Like with the melanoma group, the falling response rate when kidney cancer patients were added raises questions. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "A controversial ASCO presentation underscores risk Bristol, Nektar carry with experimental cancer drug," 3 June 2018 The American Cancer Society estimates that roughly 91,270 new melanomas will be diagnosed in the United States in 2018 — about 55,150 in men and 36,120 in women — and that about 9,320 people will die of the malignancy. Melissa Healy,, "Weight-loss surgery is associated with a reduced risk of melanoma, researchers say," 24 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of melanoma

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for melanoma

New Latin

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Statistics for melanoma

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for melanoma

The first known use of melanoma was in 1838

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English Language Learners Definition of melanoma

medical : 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 \
plural melanomas also melanomata\ -​mət-​ə \

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

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