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

The pituitary gland sends andrenocorti-cotropic hormone (ACTH) to the adrenal glands, which release the hormone cortisol. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 Long Term: To start the HPA axis, the hypothalamus sends corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) to the pituitary gland. Bridget Alex, Discover Magazine, "What Science Says About Why You're Stressed and How to Cope," 21 June 2019 As a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in the 1980s, Dr. Anne Klibanski conceived of a new approach to help patients with pituitary gland disorders. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "New Partners chief no stranger to role of uniter," 27 June 2019 Insulin resistance may also affect how the pituitary gland regulates your levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both of which prepare those ovarian follicles for maturation. Mary Claire Lagroue, SELF, "Can Diet and Exercise Actually Improve PCOS Symptoms?," 23 Apr. 2019 At the start of your menstrual cycle, the pituitary gland in your brain produces this hormone to make your ovaries to create those egg-containing follicles for ovulation. Korin Miller, SELF, "What Does It Mean to Have a Diminished Ovarian Reserve?," 17 Nov. 2018 He also might have needed hormone therapy since his pituitary gland wasn't working. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, ""Miracle Baby" Born Without a Nose Dies at Just Two Years Old," 6 June 2017 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

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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Last Updated

28 Jul 2019

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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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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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