Share this entry

medulla oblongata Line breaks: me|dulla ob¦lon|gata
Pronunciation: /ˌɒblɒŋˈɡɑːtə/

Definition of medulla oblongata in English:


The continuation of the spinal cord within the skull, forming the lowest part of the brainstem and containing control centres for the heart and lungs.
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'.

Definition of medulla oblongata in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

More on medulla oblongata

Nearby words

More words in this category

alveolar auricle bicuspid bulb bundle

Translate medulla oblongata

into German
Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
a stupid person