pituitary gland


Definition of pituitary gland 

: a small oval endocrine organ that is attached to the infundibulum of the brain, consists of an epithelial anterior lobe joined by an intermediate part to a posterior lobe of nervous origin, and produces various internal secretions directly or indirectly impinging on most basic body functions

called also hypophysis, pituitary body

— see brain illustration

Examples of pituitary gland in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Facial Changes Dearborn reassured the man that the tumor wasn’t cancer but an overgrowth of the part of the pituitary gland, at the base of the brain, that makes growth hormone. Lisa Sanders, New York Times, "The Patient Had Pain When He Walked, but There Was a More Telling Change," 27 June 2018 Essentially, the brain’s hypothalamus produces gonadotropin-releasing hormone, which causes the pituitary gland to produce FSH and LH. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Hold On Everyone, Male Birth Control Still Isn't Happening Anytime Soon," 22 Mar. 2018 While the surgeries were successful, Katie — who is from San Diego — is experiencing complications with her pituitary gland, a tiny organ located at the base of the brain that produces important hormones. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Drifts for 45 Minutes in Terrifying Parasailing Accident Before Crashing, Breaking 4 Ribs," 27 June 2018 Each model brain looks like a shriveled pituitary gland that has been pulled out through someone’s nose in a horror movie. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "Unseen Oceans: How the American Museum of Natural History Builds a New Exhibit," 21 June 2018 This indicates that your thyroid is struggling to make enough hormones, causing the pituitary gland to release TSH to get your thyroid moving. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Are Hashimoto’s Disease and Hypothyroidism the Same Thing?," 14 May 2018 Follicle stimulating hormone is produced by the brain’s pituitary gland. Nicole Ellis, Washington Post, "‘Should I freeze my eggs?’: A doctor’s second opinion made all the difference," 2 May 2018 Normally, your brain’s hypothalamus releases GnRH, which stimulates your pituitary gland to let loose some FSH and LH. Korin Miller, SELF, "How Long Does a Period Last, Normally?," 17 May 2018 Giacobini’s group had previously found that AMH could act on a set of neurons in the brain, which then triggers the release of luteinizing hormone (LH) by part of the pituitary gland. Jennifer Couzin-frankel, Science | AAAS, "Scientists may be closer to understanding a mysterious but common cause of female infertility," 14 May 2018

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

1707, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of pituitary gland was in 1707

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More Definitions for pituitary gland

pituitary gland

pi·​tu·​i·​tary gland | \pə-ˈtü-ə-ˌter-ē-, -ˈtyü-\

Kids Definition of pituitary gland

: a gland at the base of the brain that produces several hormones of which one affects growth

pituitary gland


Medical Definition of pituitary gland 

: a small oval reddish gray very vascular endocrine organ that is attached to the infundibulum of the brain and occupies the sella turcica, that is present in all craniate vertebrates, that consists essentially of an epithelial anterior lobe derived from a diverticulum of the oral cavity and joined to a posterior lobe of nervous origin by a pars intermedia, and that has the several parts associated with various hormones which directly or indirectly affect most basic bodily functions and include substances exerting a controlling and regulating influence on other endocrine organs, controlling growth and development, or modifying the contraction of smooth muscle, renal function, and reproduction

called also hypophysis, pituitary body

— see adenohypophysis, neurohypophysis

More from Merriam-Webster on pituitary gland

Britannica English: Translation of pituitary gland for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pituitary gland

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to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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