Dictionary.com

pituitary gland

[ pi-too-i-ter-ee gland, pi-tyoo‐ ]
/ pɪˈtu ɪˌtɛr i ˌglænd, pɪˈtyu‐ /
Save This Word!

noun Anatomy.
a small, somewhat cherry-shaped double structure attached by a stalk to the base of the brain and constituting the master endocrine gland affecting all hormonal functions in the body, consisting of an anterior region (anterior pituitary, oradenohypophysis ) that develops embryonically from the roof of the mouth and that secretes growth hormone, LH, FSH, ACTH, TSH, and MSH, a posterior region (posterior pituitary, orneurohypophysis ) that develops from the back of the forebrain and that secretes the hormones vasopressin and oxytocin, and an intermediate part (pars intermedia ), derived from the anterior region but joined to the posterior region, that secretes the hormone MSH in lower vertebrates.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
Also called hypophysis.

Origin of pituitary gland

First recorded in 1605–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pituitary gland in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for pituitary gland

pituitary gland

pituitary body


noun
the master endocrine gland, attached by a stalk to the base of the brain. Its two lobes (the adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis) secrete hormones affecting skeletal growth, development of the sex glands, and the functioning of the other endocrine glandsAlso called: hypophysis, hypophysis cerebri See also adenohypophysis, neurohypophysis
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

Scientific definitions for pituitary gland

pituitary gland
[ pĭ-tōōĭ-tĕr′ē ]

A gland at the base of the brain in vertebrate animals that is divided into two regions, anterior and posterior, each of which secretes important hormones. The anterior portion, whose secretions are directly controlled by the hypothalamus, produces hormones that regulate the function of most of the body's hormone-producing glands and organs, including the thyroid and adrenal glands. Growth hormone is also produced by the anterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary releases antidiuretic hormone (ADH) and oxytocin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for pituitary gland

pituitary gland
[ (pi-tooh-uh-ter-ee) ]

A small gland, attached to the base of the brain and controlled by the hypothalamus, that functions in the endocrine system. The pituitary gland secretes many hormones: some control the actions of other glands, whereas others influence growth, metabolism, and reproduction.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
FEEDBACK