ALTHOUGH terms of art have been sedulously avoided in the composition of this treatise, it is impossible entirely to banish technical phrases when writing on medicine, a science that has been less generally attended to by mankind, and continues therefore, to be more infected with the jargon of the schools, than perhaps any other. Several persons having expreffed their opinion, that a Glossary would make this work more generally intelligible, the following concise explanation of the few terms of art that occur has been added in compliance with their sentiments, and to fulfill the original intention of this treatise, by rendering it intelligible and useful to all ranks and classes of mankind.


Abdomen. The belly.

Absorbents. Vessels that convey the nourishment from the intestines, and the secreted fluids from the various cavities into the mass of blood.

Acrimony. Corrosive sharpness.

Acute. A disease, the symptoms of which are violent, and tend to a speedy termination, is called acute.

Adult. Of mature age.

Adust. Dry warm.

Antispasmodic. Whatever tends to prevent or remove spasm.

Apthae. Small whitish ulcers appearing in the mouth.

Astriction. A tightening, or lessening.

Atrabilarian. An epithet commonly applied to people of a certain temperament, marked by a dark complexion, black hair, spare habit. &c. which the antients supposed to arise from the atra bilis, or the black bile.


Bile, or Gall - A fluid which is secreted by the liver into the gallbladder, and from thence passes into the intestines, in order to promote digestion.


Cacochymie. An unhealthy state of the body.

Caries. A rottenness of a bone.

ChyIe. A milky fluid separated from the aliment in the intestines, and conveyed by the absorbents into the blood to supply the waste of the animal body.

Chronic. A disease whose progress is slow, in opposition to acute.

Circulation. The motion of the blood, which is driven by the heart through the arteries, and returns by the veins.

Comatose. Sleepy.

Conglobate Gland. A simple gland.

Conglomerate. A compound gland.

Contagion. Infectious matter.

Cutis. The skin.

Cutaneous. Of or belonging to the skin.

Crisis. A certain period in the progress of a disease, from whence a decided alteration either for the better or the worse takes place.

Critical. Decisive or important.

Critical Days. The fourth, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, seventeenth, and twenty-first, are by some authors denominated critical days, because febrile complaints have been observed to take a decisive change at these periods.


Debility. Weakness.

Delirium. A temporary disorder of the mental faculties.

Diaphragm. A membrane separating the cavity of the chest from that of the belly.

Diuretic. A medicine that promotes the secretion of urine.

Drastic. Is applied to such purgative medicines as are violent or harsh in their operation.


Empyema. A collection of purulent matter in the cavity of the breast.

Endemic. A disease peculiar to a certain district of country.

Epidemic. A disease generally infectious.

Exacerbation. The encrease of any disease.


Foeces. Excrements.

Foetid. Emitting an offensive smell.

Foetus. The child before birth, or when born before the proper period, is thus termed.

Flatulent. Producing wind

Fungus. Proud flesh.


Gangrene. Mortification.

Venereal excrescences.

Gymnastic. Exercise taken with a view to preserve or restore health. - The ancient physicians reckoned this an important branch of medicine.


Hectic Fever. A slow, consuming fever, generally attending a bad habit of body, or some incurable and deep rooted disease.

Hemorrhoids. The piles.

Hemorrhage. Discharge of blood.

Hypochondriacism. Low spirits.

Hypchondriac viscera. The liver, spleen, &c. so termed from their situation in the hypochondria or upper and lateral parts of the belly.


Ichar. Thin bad matter.

Imposthume. A collection of purulent matter.

Inflammation. A surcharge of blood, and an encreased action of the vessels, in any particular part of the body


Ligature. Bandage.

Lixivium. Ley.


Miliary Eruption. Eruption of small pustules resembling the seeds of millet.

Morbific. Causing disease, or diseased.

Mucus. The matter discharged from the nose, lungs, &c.

Misentery. A double membrane which connects the intestines to the back bone.


Nervous. Irritable.

Nausea. An inclination to vomit.

Nodes. Enlargements of the bones produced by the venereal disease.


Pectoral. Medicines adapted to cure diseases of the breast.

Pelvis. The bones situated at the lower part of the trunk; thus named from their resembling in some measure a bason.

Peritonaeum. A membrane lining the cavity of the belly and covering the intestines.

Pericardium. Membrane containing the heart.

Perspiration. The matter discharged from the pores of the skin in form of vapour or sweat.

Phlogiston. Is here used to signify somewhat rendering the air unfit for the purposes of respiration.

Phlegmatic. Watery, relaxed.

Plethoric. Replete with blood.

Polypus. A diseased excrescence, or a substance formed of coagulable lymph, frequently found in the large blood vessels.

Pus. Matter contained in a boil.


Rigimen. Regulation of diet.

Rectum. The straight gut, in which the foeces are contained.

Respiration. The act of breathing.


Saliva. The fluid secreted by the glands of the mouth.

Sanies. A thin bad matter, discharged from an ill conditioned sore.

Schirrhous. A state of diseased hardness.

Slough. A part separated and thrown off by suppuration.

Spasm. A diseased contraction.

Spine. The back bone.

Styptic. A medicine for stopping the discharge of blood.

Syncope. A fainting fit attended with a complete abolition of sensation and thought.


Tabes. A species of consumption.

Temperament. A peculiar habit of body, of which there are generally reckoned four, viz, the sanguine, the bilious, the melancholic, and the phlegmatic.

Virtigo. Giddiness.


Ulcer. An ill conditioned sore.

Ureters. Two long and small canals which convey the urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

Urethra. The canal which conveys the urine from the bladder.

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