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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web If that was high, the patient would need imaging of his brain to look for a tiny tumor on the pituitary gland. New York Times, 29 Dec. 2021 Problems with the pituitary gland or hypothalamus, which are parts of the brain that tell the testicles to produce testosterone, can lower your levels of the hormone. Erica Sweeney, Men's Health, 1 Feb. 2023 The pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain, produces HGH. Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2022 Problems with the testicles or the pituitary gland—or both—can prevent your body from producing enough T. Far more common than either of these: extra pounds. Richard Laliberte, Men's Health, 7 Feb. 2023 Researchers suggested that King Henry’s weight gain could have come from damage to his pituitary gland that caused a disruption to his growth hormone production. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 3 Aug. 2022 Testosterone is a vital intermediate hormone that boosts the production of growth hormones by the pituitary gland and thereby increases height. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 13 Oct. 2022 Testosterone is produced by the gonads, or testicles, but it’s controlled by the pituitary gland in the brain. Dallas News, 1 Feb. 2022 The chaos starts in the brain, where the flood of new hormones alerts the hormone managers, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, that the body has too much testosterone. William Neff, Washington Post, 8 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1707, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pituitary gland was in 1707

Dictionary Entries Near pituitary gland

Cite this Entry

“Pituitary gland.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pituitary%20gland. Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

pituitary gland

: a small oval endocrine organ located at the base of the brain that produces various hormones that regulate especially growth and reproduction

called also pituitary body

Medical Definition

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

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