spleen

[spleen]
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noun
  1. a highly vascular, glandular, ductless organ, situated in humans at the cardiac end of the stomach, serving chiefly in the formation of mature lymphocytes, in the destruction of worn-out red blood cells, and as a reservoir for blood.
  2. Obsolete. this organ conceived of as the seat of spirit and courage or of such emotions as mirth, ill humor, melancholy, etc.
  3. ill humor, peevish temper, or spite.
  4. Archaic. melancholy.
  5. Obsolete. caprice.

Origin of spleen

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin splēn < Greek splḗn; akin to Sanskrit plīhan, Latin liēn spleen
Related formsspleen·ish, adjectiveun·spleen·ish, adjectiveun·spleen·ish·ly, adverb

Synonyms for spleen

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for spleen

Contemporary Examples of spleen

Historical Examples of spleen

  • Which speaks of an intemperance in the splenetic parenchyma; that is to say, the spleen.

  • And there's Saunders, who talks about nothing but his spleen.

  • As you will; let us go indoors by all means, for this moon gives me the spleen.

    Melomaniacs

    James Huneker

  • On April 19, 1888, the spleen was removed, the wound healed by first intention.

  • The most recent work on extirpation of the spleen for tumours is from Hartmann and Vasquez.


British Dictionary definitions for spleen

spleen

noun
  1. a spongy highly vascular organ situated near the stomach in man. It forms lymphocytes, produces antibodies, aids in destroying worn-out red blood cells, and filters bacteria and foreign particles from the bloodRelated adjectives: lienal, splenetic, splenic
  2. the corresponding organ in other animals
  3. spitefulness or ill humour; peevishnessto vent one's spleen
  4. archaic the organ in the human body considered to be the seat of the emotions
  5. archaic another word for melancholy
  6. obsolete whim; mood
Derived Formsspleenish or spleeny, adjective

Word Origin for spleen

C13: from Old French esplen, from Latin splēn, from Greek; related to Latin lien spleen
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 spleen
n.

c.1300, from Old French esplen, from Latin splen, from Greek splen, from PIE *splegh- (cf. Sanskrit plihan-, Avestan sperezan, Armenian p'aicaln, Latin lien, Old Church Slavonic slezena, Lithuanian bluznis, Old Prussian blusne, Old Irish selg "spleen"). Regarded in medieval physiology as the seat of morose feelings and bad temper. Hence figurative sense of "violent ill-temper" (1590s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

spleen in Medicine

spleen

[splēn]
n.
  1. A large, highly vascular lymphoid organ, lying to the left of the stomach below the diaphragm and serving to store blood, disintegrate old blood cells, filter foreign substances from the blood, and to produce lymphocytes.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

spleen in Science

spleen

[splēn]
  1. An organ in vertebrate animals that in humans is located on the left side of the abdomen near the stomach. The spleen is mainly composed of lymph nodes and blood vessels. It filters the blood, stores red blood cells (erythrocytes) and destroys old ones, and produces white blood cells (lymphocytes).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

spleen in Culture

spleen

An organ in the lymphatic system, in the upper left part of the abdomen, that filters out harmful substances from the blood. The spleen also produces white blood cells, removes worn-out red blood cells from circulation, and maintains a reserve blood supply for the body.

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.

Idioms and Phrases with spleen

spleen

see vent one's spleen.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.