Definition of ectopic in English:



  • In an abnormal place or position.

    • ‘In addition, each of the single mutants exhibits a small increase of the number of root hairs in the upper part of this organ caused by the formation of some root hairs in ectopic positions.’
    • ‘Patients with other abnormalities such as ectopic ureters and diverticulae can also present with incontinence.’
    • ‘We describe another mechanism limiting the tendency of heterologous chromosomes to undergo ectopic recombination.’
    • ‘A preoperative thyroid scan should be performed to rule out ectopic thyroid tissue.’
    • ‘A second class of mutant displays sensory organs in wholly ectopic positions, although these are always separated by epidermal cells.’


  • An ectopic pregnancy.

    • ‘Not surprisingly, and even though patients were taking amiodarone, pulse rate increases and ventricular ectopics recurred more commonly in those with hyperthyroidism, but not in those with hypothyroidism.’
    • ‘However, when accidental pregnancy does occur, there is an increased proportion of ectopics, highest with the Progesterone-T.’
    • ‘And the biggest worry was it going to be a third ectopic.’
    • ‘The doctors decided to do a laparoscopy to find out if it was an ectopic, appendicitis or an ovarian cyst and then operate accordingly.’
    • ‘Methotrexate injection is a nonsurgical treatment for ectopics of less than 3.5 cm with no fetal heart motion.’


Late 19th century: from modern Latin ectopia ‘presence of tissue, cells, etc. in an abnormal place’ (from Greek ektopos out of place) + -ic.