noun, plural a·myg·da·lae [uh-mig-duh-lee] /əˈmɪg dəˌli/. Anatomy.
  1. an almond-shaped part, as a tonsil.
  2. a ganglion of the limbic system adjoining the temporal lobe of the brain and involved in emotions of fear and aggression.

Origin of amygdala

before 950; < Medieval Latin: almond, tonsil, Latin: almond < Greek amygdálē; replacing Middle English amygdal, Old English amigdal almond < Latin amygdalon < Greek amýgdalon; cf. almond Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for amygdala

Contemporary Examples of amygdala

Historical Examples of amygdala

  • The common English name is from the Latin amandola, corrupted from amygdala.

    The Nut Culturist

    Andrew S. Fuller

British Dictionary definitions for amygdala


noun plural -lae (-ˌliː)
  1. anatomy an almond-shaped part, such as a tonsil or a lobe of the cerebellum

Word Origin for amygdala

C16: from Medieval Latin: almond
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 amygdala

"the tonsils," 1540s (amygdal), from Latin, from Greek amygdale "almond" (see almond). The anatomical use is as a direct translation of Arabic al-lauzatani "the two tonsils," literally "the two almonds," so called by Arabic physicians for fancied resemblance. From early 15c. as amygdales "tonsils;" as "almonds" from mid-12c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

amygdala in Medicine


n. pl. a•myg•da•lae (-lē)
  1. One of two small, almond-shaped masses of gray matter that are part of the limbic system and are located in the temporal lobes of the cerebral hemispheres.amygdaloid nucleus
  2. The cerebellar tonsil.
  3. Any of the lymphatic tonsils.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

amygdala in Science


Plural amygdalae (ə-mĭgdə-lē)
  1. An almond-shaped mass of gray matter in the front part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum that is part of the limbic system and is involved in the processing and expression of emotions, especially anger and fear.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.