- a ductless, butterfly-shaped gland lying at the base of the neck, formed mostly of lymphatic tissue and aiding in the production of T cells of the immune system: after puberty, the lymphatic tissue gradually degenerates.
Origin of thymus
Examples from the Web for thymus
Concentric corpuscles, like those of the thymus, have been recorded in it.
Thymus serpyllum, and Gray says it's not native, but adventitious from Europe.Two Knapsacks
The thymus gland, which lies near the heart and is often called the heart sweetbread, is the best one.
The thymus and thyroid glands and the pancreas are included under the term sweetbreads.
He recognized the opening of the common biliary duct, and was the first to give a good description of the thymus gland.The Popes and Science
James J. Walsh
- a glandular organ of vertebrates, consisting in man of two lobes situated below the thyroid. In early life it produces lymphocytes and is thought to influence certain immunological responses. It atrophies with age and is almost nonexistent in the adult
Word Origin and History for thymus
gland near the base of the neck, 1690s, Modern Latin, from Greek thymos "a warty excrescence," used of the gland by Galen, literally "thyme," probably so called because of a fancied resemblance to a bunch of thyme (see thyme).
- A lymphoid organ that is located in the superior mediastinum and lower part of the neck and is necessary in early life for the normal development of immunological function.
- The thymus of a calf or lamb.
- An organ of the lymphatic system located behind the upper sternum (breastbone). T cells (T lymphocytes) develop and mature in the thymus before entering the circulation. In humans, the thymus stops growing in early childhood and gradually shrinks in size through adulthood, resulting in a gradual decline in immune system function.