Definitions

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

  • n. A small glandular organ that is situated behind the top of the breastbone, consisting mainly of lymphatic tissue and serving as the site of T cell differentiation. The thymus increases gradually in size and activity until puberty, becoming vestigial thereafter.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A ductless gland, consisting mainly of lymphatic tissue, located behind the top of the breastbone. It is most active during puberty, after which it shrinks in size. It plays an important role in the development of the immune system and produces lymphocytes.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of, pertaining to, or designating, the thymus gland.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A genus of labiate plants, belonging to the tribe Satureineæ and subtribe Menthoideæ; the thyme.
  • n. In anatomy, a fetal structure, vestigial in the adult, one of the so-called ductless glands, of no known function, situated inside the thorax, behind the breast-bone, near the root of the neck.
  • n. In pathology, same as acrothymion.

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

  • n. large genus of Old World mints: thyme
  • n. a ductless glandular organ at the base of the neck that produces lymphocytes and aids in producing immunity; atrophies with age

Etymologies

New Latin, from Greek thumos, warty excrescence, thymus.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From the Modern Latin thymus, from the Ancient Greek θύμος (thumos, "warty excrescence”, (also, as used by Galen) “thymus gland"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Occasionally in the past there were speculations as to the effect on adolescence, and the changes that took place at this time, of the thymus gland (from a Greek word of uncertain derivation).

    The Human Brain

  • There is one other thing that we want to do that is also required for rejuvenating the immune system, and that is to restore the size of a very important organ in the immune system called the thymus, which is - for whatever reason - something that shrinks throughout life and gets, even by the sort of age I am, down to 10 or

    The Methuselah Foundation Blog

  • The tumour, which had started in an organ called the thymus gland in the chest cavity, was also crushing his heart and lungs and constricting the vital arteries supplying his body with blood.

    Boing Boing

  • I forgot about the sweetbreads dish, aka thymus gland, here served with eggplant dumplings and ricotta salata.

    Day 11: Wine Dinner at Tramonto Steak

  • The thymus is a tiny organ located near our breastbone that is present in all mammals.

    Living Longer through Hibernation | Impact Lab

  • Now off in another part of the body, in a strange little organ called the thymus, T cells are going to school.

    Analog Science Fiction and Fact

  • Not long ago, I had this sort of mixed reaction when I read that the country musician Naomi Judd, who may have contracted hepatitis C while working as a nurse more than ten years ago, has had some success with a compound called thymus extract.

    DR. SANJIV CHOPRA’S LIVER BOOK

  • Indeed, they are not of any use at all, except that the first becomes the Eustachian tube bringing the ear-passage into connection with the back of the mouth, and that the second and third have to do with the development of a curious organ called the thymus gland.

    The Outline of Science, Vol. 1 (of 4) A Plain Story Simply Told

  • The last anatomical point which may give trouble in normal necks is the thymus, which is present in children below the age of two, and covers the lower end of the trachea just above the level of the sternum.

    A Manual of the Operations of Surgery For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners

  • Confronting massive evil is daunting, sickening, spiritually exhausting and even enervates something called the thymus gland (under the breast bone).

    Corrente

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