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See more synonyms for macula on Thesaurus.com
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.
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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 macula


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
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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 macula


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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

macula in Medicine


n. pl. mac•u•las
  1. Also mac•ule (-yōōl′) A discolored spot or area on the skin that is not elevated above the surface and is characteristic of certain conditions, such as smallpox, purpura, or roseola.
  2. An opaque spot on the cornea.
  3. The macula lutea.
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Related formsmacu•lar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

macula 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.