[mi-koh-nee-uh m]


the first fecal excretion of a newborn child, composed chiefly of bile, mucus, and epithelial cells.
fecal mass released at pupation by the larvae of some insects.
the milky sap of the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy; crude opium.

Origin of meconium

1595–1605; < Latin < Greek mēkṓnion, diminutive of mḗkōn poppy Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meconium

Historical Examples of meconium

British Dictionary definitions for meconium



the dark green mucoid material that forms the first faeces of a newborn infant
opium or the juice from the opium poppy

Word Origin for meconium

C17: from New Latin, from Latin: poppy juice (used also of infant's excrement because of similarity in colour), from Greek mēkōneion, from mēkōn poppy
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 meconium

"fecal discharge from a newborn infant," 1706, from Latin meconium "excrement of a newborn child," literally "poppy juice," from Greek mekonion "poppy-juice, opium," diminutive of mekon "poppy" (perhaps cognate with Old Church Slavonic maku, German Mohn "poppy"). So called by classical physicians for its resemblance. Related: Meconial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

meconium in Medicine




A dark green fecal material that accumulates in the fetal intestines and is discharged at or near the time of birth.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.