Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A discolored spot or area on the skin that is not elevated above the surface and is characteristic of certain conditions, such as smallpox, purpura, or roseola.
  • n. An opaque spot on the cornea.
  • n. The macula lutea.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An oval yellow spot near the center of the retina of the human eye, histologically defined as having two or more layers of ganglion cells, responsible for detailed central vision.
  • n. A spot, as on the skin, or on the surface of the sun or of some other luminous orb.
  • n. A rather large spot or blotch of color.
  • n. In planetary geology, an unusually dark area on the surface of a planet or moon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A spot, as on the skin, or on the surface of the sun or of some other luminous orb; called also macule.
  • n. A rather large spot or blotch of color.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A spot; a blotch.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small yellowish central area of the retina that is rich in cones and that mediates clear detailed vision
  • n. a patch of skin that is discolored but not usually elevated; caused by various diseases
  • n. a cooler darker spot appearing periodically on the sun's photosphere; associated with a strong magnetic field

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin macula ("spot, stain"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Yellow and orange foods helps the eye (vision) the retinal macula is yellowish/orange in color so this helps Macular Degeneration, blues and red food helps the heart and circulatory conditions.

    The wonderful world of Soy!

  • And right in the middle of that, the highest priced real estate, is actually something known as the macula, which is the very back of the eye.

    CNN Transcript Aug 14, 2007

  • The disease strikes the center of the retina, called the macula, which is especially important for reading, watching television, and recognizing faces.

    Technology Review RSS Feeds

  • The disease, according to the Mayo Clinic, is "marked by the deterioration of the macula, which is in the center of the retina -- the layer of tissue on the inside back wall of your eyeball."

    Charles Scott: Overcoming Obstacles With 'No Excuses'

  • Wet age-related macular degeneration gradually destroys central vision by damaging the macula, which is located in the back of the eye and allows sharp vision of fine detail.

    Regeneron Drug Called Effective In FDA Review

  • To clarify: the macula is the name of the small area on the retina that contains the greatest concentration of our photoreceptors, "macular" is the adjective.

    Corrections and clarifications

  • It gradually destroys central vision by damaging the macula, which is located in the back of the eye and allows sharp vision of fine detail.

    Eye Drug Shows Promise in Studies

  • And it's this area over here called the macula that is so important.

    CNN Transcript May 16, 2009

  • The macula is a small dimple that is responsible for central vision, required for focused activities like writing, sewing, driving, and for distinguishing color.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

  • The macula is a small dimple on the retina that is responsible for fine vision.

    Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible

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  • (see also maculae)

    October 11, 2008

  • *small spot on skin - in physiology, a small pigmented spot on the skin that is neither raised nor depressed
    *yellow spot near the retina - in ophthalmology,
    a small yellowish spot in the middle of the retina that provides the greatest visual acuity and color
    *astronomy - same as sunspot

    October 31, 2007