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noun, plural mac·u·lae [mak-yuh-lee] /ˈmæk yəˌli/.
  1. a spot or blotch, especially on one's skin; macule.
  2. Ophthalmology.
    1. an opaque spot on the cornea.
    2. Also called macula lutea, yellow spot.an irregularly oval, yellow-pigmented area on the central retina, containing color-sensitive rods and the central point of sharpest vision.

Origin of macula

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin: spot, blemish
Related formsmac·u·lar, adjectivemul·ti·mac·u·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for macular


macule (ˈmækjuːl)

noun plural -ulae (-jʊˌliː) or -ules anatomy
  1. a small spot or area of distinct colour, esp the macula lutea
  2. any small discoloured spot or blemish on the skin, such as a freckle
Derived Formsmacular, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Latin
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

Word Origin and History for macular


1822, from macula + -ar.



plural maculae, from Latin macula "spot, stain," used of various spots (sunspots, markings on minerals, etc.), of uncertain origin. Especially the macula lutea in the eye.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

macular in Medicine

acoustic maculae

  1. The macula sacculi and macula utriculi.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

macular in Science


Plural maculae (măkyə-lē′) maculas
  1. A minute yellowish area located near the center of the retina of the eye, at which visual perception is most acute.
  2. A discolored spot on the skin that is not elevated above the surface.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.