Medicine & Public Health Through Time - Key Terminology

HideShow resource information

We've been given an awful lot of handouts with different keywords and meanings, so I thought I'd put them all together in like one big GIANT, glossary, aha. :)


abscess - a collection of pus caused by an infection

AD - anno domini, after the birth of jesus

ague - an old fashioned term for any disease causing a fever

ailment - an illness that is not serious

amputation - the removal of a limb by surgery

amulet - a charm that the wearer believes gives protection from disease

anaesthetic - a drug given to produce unconsciousness before and during surgery

anatomy - the study of the structure of the body

antibiotics - a group of drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria

antibodies - proteins produced in the blood to fight harmful organisms

antisepsis - prevention of infection by stopping the growth of bacteria

antiseptics - chemicals used to destroy bacteria and prevent infection

anti-toxin - a substance produced by the body to fight a poison

aqueduct - a channel used to carry clean water

apothecary - a pharmacist or chemist

arteries - blood vessels which carry blood away from the heart

arthritis - the painful swelling of joints

Asclepion - temple of the Greek god of healing

aseptic - a germ-free state

astrology - the study of the planets and their influence on people's lives


bacteria - germs that cause infection and disease

barber surgeons - barbers who also performed minor surgery

BC - before christ, before the birth of jesus

bezoar stone - a ball of indigestable material found in goat's stomachs

biochemist - a scientist who studies the 'make-up' of living things

Black Death - a phrase used to describe the bubonic plague

bleeding - the treatment of drawing blood from a patient, eg. leeches

blood group - the particular type of blood a patient has

blood transfusion - giving fresh blood to a patient to replace lost blood


cautery - using a hot iron to seal a wound

carbolic spray - carbolic acid, used as a disinfectant and antiseptic

cell - the basic unit of life which makes up the bodies of all living things

cesspit - a place for collecting/storing sewage

charm - an object believed to have magical powers

chirurgery - surgery

chloroform - a liquid whose vapour acts as an anaesthetic

cholera - a disease carried in contaminated sewage

chromosomes - found in the nuclei of cells, contain genes

clinical observation - close observation and recording of a patient's symptoms

constipation - difficulty clearing the bowels

constitution - the physical make-up of a person

consumption - tuberculosis

contagion - the passing of disease from one person to another

contaminated - something that is infected

cordial - a non-alcoholic drink

coronary - referring to blood vessels around the heart

culture - the growth of micro-organisms in the laboratory


delirious - excited and confused, often as a result of high fever

diagnosis - the doctors opinion of what is…


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all Medicine through time (OCR History A) resources »