Rh factor

[ ahr-eych -fak-ter ]
/ ˈɑrˈeɪtʃ ˌfæk tər /

noun Physiology.

an inherited antigen found on the red blood cells of most people and certain other primates: those with this antigen are Rh positive while those lacking it are Rh negative , the determination of which is especially important when assessing blood-type compatibility for transfusions and pregnancy.

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Also called Rh .

Origin of Rh factor

First recorded in 1940–45; so called because first found in the blood of rhesus monkeys

Words nearby Rh factor

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for Rh factor

Rh factor

noun

an agglutinogen commonly found in human blood: it may cause a haemolytic reaction, esp during pregnancy or following transfusion of blood that does not contain this agglutinogenFull name: rhesus factor See also Rh positive, Rh negative

Word Origin for Rh factor

C20: named after the rhesus monkey, in which it was first discovered
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

Medical definitions for Rh factor

Rh factor

n.

Any of several substances on the surface of red blood cells that induce a strong antigenic response in individuals lacking the substance.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for Rh factor

Rh factor
[ ärāch ]

Any of several antigens present on the surface of red blood cells in most humans. People with Rh factors are classified as having a blood type that is Rh positive, while people who lack the antigen are said to be Rh negative and can produce powerful antibodies that destroy red blood cells if given a blood transfusion from an Rh-positive donor. A woman who is Rh negative and is pregnant with an Rh-positive fetus can produce antibodies that are life threatening to the fetus. See Note at blood type.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for Rh factor

Rh factor
[ (ahr-aych) ]

Any of several substances found on the surface of red blood cells in persons.

notes for Rh factor

An Rh-negative woman who gives birth to an Rh-positive baby may develop antibodies to the Rh factor during her first pregnancy. These antibodies may cause a disorder in Rh-positive babies conceived afterward that could result in the death of the infant if the condition is not recognized and treated.
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.