pi·​tu·​i·​tary | \ pə-ˈtü-ə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce pituitary (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Definition of pituitary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the pituitary gland
2 : caused or characterized by secretory disturbances of the pituitary gland pituitary dwarfism


plural pituitaries

Definition of pituitary (Entry 2 of 2)

Examples of pituitary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective On about the 18th day hormonal changes are initiated by the pituitary control and on the 22nd or 23rd day the individual enters kemmer, estrus. Harold Bloom, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2020 Exercise regulates the body's central stress response system, called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which can help reduce cortisol and other harmful stress hormones. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, 20 Oct. 2020 Minkin says that patients with persistent irregularities can talk to their doctor about having their thyroid and pituitary hormone levels tested. Washington Post, 24 Aug. 2020 The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, or HPA axis, is another mechanism by which the brain can communicate with the gut to help control digestion through the action of hormones. Justin Sonnenburg, Scientific American, 1 May 2015 Another was in danger of going blind after being diagnosed with a pituitary tumor brought on by pregnancy hormones. Nina Martin, ProPublica, 8 Dec. 2019 Prolactin blood test Prolactin is related to your thyroid and pituitary function. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, 1 Oct. 2018 Low levels of estradiol can point to PCOS or pituitary issues. Jennifer Gerson, Marie Claire, 1 Oct. 2018 The writer Malcolm Gladwell, in a profile of Dr. Wilson in The New Yorker in 1999, described one of those pituitary cancer surgeries. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, 2 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And the CT scan revealed a growth about the size of a lima bean on his pituitary. New York Times, 29 Dec. 2021 If there is such fine control between the pituitary and thyroid, manually trying to simulate that feedback mechanism by taking one pill a day (levothyroxine) seems impossible. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 31 Aug. 2021 Measuring the thyroid hormone itself, levothyroxine, and thyroid stimulating hormone, made in the pituitary, are adequate to monitor the thyroid level in most people. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, 12 Aug. 2021 When your pituitary gets damaged, everything can go wrong. Bryan Box, The New Republic, 30 Jan. 2020 The body’s stress response is regulated by the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis. Rod Mccullom, Quartz, 7 Oct. 2019 Among many other critical functions, this grouping of the brain’s hypothalamus and the pituitary and adrenal glands regulates how the body processes stress. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Aug. 2019 When levels go up, the pituitary senses this and reduces TSH production. Andrew Wolfson, The Courier-Journal, 14 June 2018 Bendig, 84, died of complications from a pituitary apoplexy on June 3 at the Avantara Park Ridge nursing and rehabilitation center in Park Ridge, said his son Ray. Bob Goldsborough, chicagotribune.com, 17 June 2018

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


1778, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1845, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pituitary


Latin pituita phlegm; from the former belief that the pituitary gland secreted phlegm — more at pip

Learn More About pituitary

Time Traveler for pituitary

Time Traveler

The first known use of pituitary was in 1778

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near pituitary



pituitary fossa

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for pituitary

Cite this Entry

“Pituitary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pituitary. Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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

More Definitions for pituitary



English Language Learners Definition of pituitary

: a small organ in the brain that produces hormones and influences growth and development


pi·​tu·​i·​tary | \ pə-ˈt(y)ü-ə-ˌter-ē How to pronounce pituitary (audio) \

Medical Definition of pituitary

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to the pituitary gland
2 : caused or characterized by secretory disturbances of the pituitary gland a pituitary dwarf


plural pituitaries

Medical Definition of pituitary (Entry 2 of 2)

2 : the cleaned, dried, and powdered posterior lobe of the pituitary gland of cattle that is used in the treatment of uterine atony and hemorrhage, shock, and intestinal paresis

More from Merriam-Webster on pituitary

Britannica English: Translation of pituitary for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!