Definition of medulla oblongata in English:

medulla oblongata

Syllabification: me·dul·la ob·long·a·ta
Pronunciation: /məˌdələ äˌblôNGˈɡädə


The continuation of the spinal cord within the skull, forming the lowest part of the brainstem and containing control centers for the heart and lungs.
More example sentences
  • Located at the base of the skull, the medulla oblongata is continuous with the spinal cord at the foramen magnum.
  • Many arterial branches arise from the vertebral and basilar artery to supply the medulla oblongata and the pons.
  • In the lower part of the illustration is the cut surface of the medulla oblongata and a view of the ventral pons from below.


late 17th century: modern Latin, literally 'elongated medulla'.

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