from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. a ductless gland in the throat, or in the neighboring region, of nearly all vertebrates. In man and other mammals it is the throat, or neck, sweetbread, which lies in the upper part of the thorax and lower part of the throat. It is largest in fetal and early life, and disappears or becomes rudimentary in the adult. The thymus gland functions as the site of maturation of T-lymphocytes (T-cells), which confer cell-mediated immunity on the host organism; thus, removal or malfunciton of the thymus can lead to absence of cell-mediated immunity, and a consequent loss of resistance to infection.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a ductless glandular organ at the base of the neck that produces lymphocytes and aids in producing immunity; atrophies with age
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