Share this entry

Share this page

phocomelia

Syllabification: pho·co·me·li·a
Pronunciation: /ˌfōkōˈmēlēə
 
/

Definition of phocomelia in English:

noun

Medicine
A rare congenital deformity in which the hands or feet are attached close to the trunk, the limbs being grossly underdeveloped or absent. This condition was a side effect of the drug thalidomide taken during early pregnancy.
Example sentences
  • Cases of phocomelia in the early 1960's in Germany and Australia led to the identification of thalidomide as a human teratogen.
  • The most well-known defect, a severe shortening of the arms or legs with flipper-like hands or feet, is called phocomelia.
  • This was in spite of such FDA victories as the ban of thalidomide, which caused phocomelia in more than 8000 babies in Europe, where the drug was freely used.

Origin

late 19th century: modern Latin, from Greek phōkē 'seal' + melos 'limb'.

Definition of phocomelia in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day Sprachgefühl
Pronunciation: ˈSHpräkɡəˌf(y)o͞ol
noun
intuitive understanding of a language’s natural idiom…