• synonyms


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

Related Words for maculae

freckle, blot, bruise, wart, blotch, smudge, imperfection, pimple, snag, stigma, stain, scar, discoloration, blemish, mole, disgrace, disfigurement, chip, birthmark, second

Examples from the Web for maculae

Historical Examples of maculae

  • Attached to the maculae are crystals of carbonate of lime called otoconia.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 9


  • These maculae will be found by the touch to be slightly elevated, although they seem level to the eye.

British Dictionary definitions for maculae


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 for macula

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 maculae



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

maculae 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.

maculae 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.