pu·​ta·​men pyü-ˈtā-mən How to pronounce putamen (audio)
: the large dark lateral part of the basal ganglion which comprises the external portion of the corpus striatum and which has connections to the caudate nucleus

Examples of putamen in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The electrodes typically have to pass the caudate and putamen to reach their target. Carl Zimmer, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2010 But the right parietal lobe does have functional and anatomical connections to the putamen, Hayashi said, so perhaps the interactions of the two produce a more cohesive perception of time. Quanta Magazine, 24 Sep. 2020 Brain scans of the study participants tracked this effect in a region called the putamen, which is involved in motor learning and other functions. Quanta Magazine, 24 Sep. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'putamen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, hard outer covering, shell, from putare to clean, prune

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of putamen was in 1877

Cite this Entry

“Putamen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/putamen. Accessed 25 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


pu·​ta·​men pyü-ˈtā-mən How to pronounce putamen (audio)
plural putamina -ˈtam-ə-nə How to pronounce putamen (audio)
: an outer reddish layer of gray matter in the lentiform nucleus
putaminous adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on putamen

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!