[ thal-uh-muhs ]
/ ˈθæl ə məs /
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noun, plural thal·a·mi [thal-uh-mahy]. /ˈθæl əˌmaɪ/.
Anatomy. the middle part of the diencephalon through which sensory impulses pass to reach the cerebral cortex.
Botany. a receptacle or torus.
Also called thalamium. an apartment for women in an ancient Greek house.
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Origin of thalamus

1695–1705; <New Latin; Latin: bedroom <Greek thálamos


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use thalamus in a sentence

  • Your ears keep working as you snooze, but what you hear goes to the thalamus, which decides whether or not it’s familiar, says Pelayo, author of How to Sleep.

  • He headed toward the SRB room, an intense thalamic excitement rising up inside him.

    The Variable Man|Philip K. Dick
  • His motivation had been thalamic rather than cortical and he was having trouble externalizing it verbally.

    A Slave is a Slave|Henry Beam Piper
  • So much reliance on Indexes and thalamic-imbalance and chart-sifts!

    We're Friends, Now|Henry Hasse

British Dictionary definitions for thalamus

/ (ˈθæləməs) /

noun plural -mi (-ˌmaɪ)
either of the two contiguous egg-shaped masses of grey matter at the base of the brain
both of these masses considered as a functional unit
the receptacle or torus of a flower

Derived forms of thalamus

thalamic (θəˈlæmɪk), adjectivethalamically, adverb

Word Origin for thalamus

C18: from Latin, Greek thalamos inner room; probably related to Greek tholos vault
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 thalamus

[ thălə-məs ]

Plural thalami (thălə-mī′)
The part of the vertebrate brain that lies at the rear of the forebrain. It relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex and regulates the perception of touch, pain, and temperature.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for thalamus

[ (thal-uh-muhs) ]

The part of the brain that coordinates nerve impulses relating to the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and taste.

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.