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[hahy-puh-thal-uh-muh s] /ˌhaɪ pəˈθæl ə məs/
noun, plural hypothalami
[hahy-puh-thal-uh-mahy] /ˌhaɪ pəˈθæl əˌmaɪ/ (Show IPA).
a region of the brain, between the thalamus and the midbrain, that functions as the main control center for the autonomic nervous system by regulating sleep cycles, body temperature, appetite, etc., and that acts as an endocrine gland by producing hormones, including the releasing factors that control the hormonal secretions of the pituitary gland.
Origin of hypothalamus
From New Latin, dating back to 1895-1900; See origin at hypo-, thalamus
Related forms
[hahy-poh-thuh-lam-ik, hip-oh-] /ˌhaɪ poʊ θəˈlæm ɪk, ˌhɪp oʊ-/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for hypothalamus's


noun (pl) -mi (-ˌmaɪ)
a neural control centre at the base of the brain, concerned with hunger, thirst, satiety, and other autonomic functions
Derived Forms
hypothalamic (ˌhaɪpəθəˈlæmɪk) adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hypothalamus's



1896, coined 1893 in German from Greek hypo- "under" (see sub-) + thalamus "part of the brain where a nerve emerges."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hypothalamus's in Medicine

hypothalamus hy·po·thal·a·mus (hī'pō-thāl'ə-məs)
The part of the brain that lies below the thalamus, forming the major portion of the ventral region of the diencephalon, and that regulates bodily temperature, certain metabolic processes, and other autonomic activities.

hy'po·tha·lam'ic (-thə-lām'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hypothalamus's in Science
The part of the brain in vertebrate animals that lies below the thalamus and cerebrum. The hypothalamus controls the autonomic nervous system and the secretion of hormones by the pituitary gland. Through these nerve and hormone channels, the hypothalamus regulates many vital biological processes, including body temperature, blood pressure, thirst, hunger, and the sleep-wake cycle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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hypothalamus's in Culture
hypothalamus [(heye-puh-thal-uh-muhs)]

The part of the brain that controls hunger, thirst, and body temperature and regulates various activities in the body connected with metabolism, including the maintaining of water balance. The hypothalamus also controls the action of the pituitary gland.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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