Definition of medulla oblongata in US English:

medulla oblongata


  • The continuation of the spinal cord within the skull, forming the lowest part of the brainstem and containing control centers for the heart and lungs.

    • ‘Many arterial branches arise from the vertebral and basilar artery to supply the medulla oblongata and the pons.’
    • ‘Scattered single tumor cells were also identified in the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata.’
    • ‘Located at the base of the skull, the medulla oblongata is continuous with the spinal cord at the foramen magnum.’
    • ‘In the lower part of the illustration is the cut surface of the medulla oblongata and a view of the ventral pons from below.’
    • ‘The section cuts the medulla oblongata.’


Late 17th century: modern Latin, literally ‘elongated medulla’.


medulla oblongata

/məˌdələ ɑˌblɔŋˈɡɑdə//məˌdələ äˌblôNGˈɡädə/