1. [syn: medulla oblongata, medulla, bulb]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Medulla \Me*dul"la\, n. [L.]
1. Marrow; pith; hence, essence. [Obs.] --Milton.
2. (Anat.) The marrow of bones; the deep or inner portion of
an organ or part; as, the medulla, or medullary substance,
of the kidney; specifically, the medula oblongata.
3. (Bot.) A soft tissue, occupying the center of the stem or
branch of a plant; pith.
4. See medulla oblongata.
Medulla oblongata. [L., oblong medulla] (Anat.), the
posterior part of the brain connected with the spinal
cord. It includes all the hindbrain except the cerebellum
and pons, and from it a large part of the cranial nerves
arise. It controls very largely respiration, circulation,
swallowing, and other functions, and is the most vital
part of the brain; -- called also bulb of the spinal
cord. See Brain.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: lower or hindmost part of the brain; continuous with spinal
cord; (`bulb' is an old term for medulla oblongata); "the
medulla oblongata is the most vital part of the brain
because it contains centers controlling breathing and heart
functioning" [syn: medulla oblongata, medulla, bulb]