spleen

Definitions

General Science

  • noun an organ in the left upper abdomen that stores blood, destroys old red blood cells, forms lymphocytes and filters foreign substances

Food

  • A soft red pulpy organ near the stomach of an animal which is used for recycling the iron from dead or damaged red blood cells. Used in offal-based dishes or for stuffings.

Medical

  • noun an organ in the top part of the abdominal cavity behind the stomach and below the diaphragm, which helps to destroy old red blood cells, form lymphocytes and store blood.

Sports

  • noun a ductless vascular organ in the left upper abdomen that helps to destroy old red blood cells, form lymphocytes and store blood

Origin & History of “spleen”

Spleen comes via Old French esplen and Latin splēn from Greek splḗn, which may have been related to Latin liēn ‘spleen’ and Greek splágkhnon ‘entrails’ (source of English splanchnic ‘of the viscera’ (17th c.)). In medieval physiology many internal organs were held to be the seat of a particular emotion, and the spleen was no exception. It had several conflicting states of mind attributed to it, but the one which survives is ‘moroseness’ or ‘bad temper’, in the derived adjective splenetic (16th c.).
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