or pho·ko·me·li·a

[ foh-koh-mee-lee-uh, -meel-yuh ]
/ ˌfoʊ koʊˈmi li ə, -ˈmil yə /

noun Pathology.

a usually congenital deformity of the extremities in which the limbs are abnormally short.
Sometimes pho·com·e·ly [foh-kom-uh-lee] /foʊˈkɒm ə li/.

Origin of phocomelia

1890–95; < New Latin, equivalent to phōco-, combining form representing Greek phṓkē seal + -melia -melia Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for phocomelia

  • Phocomelia with brain deformity has been found associated with them.

    Degeneracy|Eugene S. Talbot

British Dictionary definitions for phocomelia


phocomely (fəʊˈkɒməlɪ)

/ (ˌfəʊkəʊˈmiːlɪə) /


a congenital deformity resulting from prenatal interference with the development of the fetal limbs, characterized esp by short stubby hands or feet attached close to the body

Derived Forms

phocomelic, adjective

Word Origin for phocomelia

C19: via New Latin from Greek phōkē a seal + melos a limb
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

Medicine definitions for phocomelia


[ fō′kō-mēlē-ə, -mēlyə ]


A birth defect in which the upper portion of a limb is absent or poorly developed, so that the hand or foot attaches to the body by a short, flipperlike stump.

Related forms

pho′co•melic (-mēlĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.