One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Shaped like or resembling a breast or nipple.
- ‘The grounds in the neighborhood are covered with those common mammillary elevations known as ‘Indian corn-hills.’’
- 1.1 (of a mineral) having several smoothly rounded convex surfaces.
- ‘Malachite is typically massive, forming thick, compact crusts with mammillary surfaces.’
- ‘Pale-to-medium blue mammillary rosasite aggregates occur with malachite in oxidized rock fallen from the north face of the open pit near the decline access drift.’
- ‘Shell units are tightly packed but separated in the mammillary layer.’
- 1.2Anatomy Denoting two rounded bodies in the floor of the hypothalamus in the brain.
- ‘The hippocampus has output to the mamillary bodies and onto the anterior nucleus of the thalamus.’
- ‘The hippocampus, fornix, and mamillary bodies have an integral role in memory and learning.’
- ‘This could, in turn, explain why mammillary body damage seems to preferentially affect memory on spatial tasks.’
- ‘It was bluntly perforated in front of the mamillary bodies with the aid of a catheter.’
- ‘Especially in these cases, MRI findings with high signal intensity in the thalamus and mammillary bodies can be especially important.’
Early 17th century: from modern Latin mamillaris, from mamilla (see mammilla). The spelling variant of -mm- was due to association with mammary.
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