Human Anatomy and Physiology - Middle School

Got anatomy and physiology on the brain? Then you'll want to bone up on these terms related to the human body. Learn all about the nervous, respiratory, skeletal, and digestive systems. This list is sure to get your blood flowing!
Read more...

Start learning with an activity...

  • Practice

    Answer a few questions on each word. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. Use it to prep for your next quiz!
  • Spelling Bee

    Test your spelling acumen. See the definition, listen to the word, then try to spell it correctly. Beat your last streak, or best your overall time. Spellers of the world, untie!
  • Vocabulary Jam

    Compete head-to-head in real-time to see which team can answer the most questions correctly. Start a Jam and invite your friends and classmates to join!

Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. air sac
    a tiny sac for holding air in the lungs
  2. alveolus
    a tiny sac for holding air in the lungs
  3. aorta
    the large artery carrying blood from the heart to the body
  4. appendix
    a small sac attached to the large intestines of some animals
  5. arteriole
    one of the small thin-walled arteries that end in capillaries
  6. artery
    a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body
  7. atrium
    a chamber connected to other chambers or passageways
  8. ball-and-socket joint
    a joint that can rotate within a socket
  9. bile
    a digestive juice secreted by the liver
  10. bladder
    a distensible membranous sac
  11. blood
    the fluid that is pumped through the body by the heart
  12. blood vessel
    a vessel in which blood circulates
  13. bone
    rigid tissue that makes up the skeleton of vertebrates
  14. bone marrow
    the fatty network of connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones
  15. brain
    the center of the nervous system
  16. brain stem
    the part of the brain continuous with the spinal cord and comprising the medulla oblongata and pons and midbrain and parts of the hypothalamus
  17. bronchus
    either of the two main branches of the trachea
  18. capillary
    a minute blood vessel connecting arterioles with venules
  19. cardiac muscle
    the muscle tissue of the heart
  20. cardiovascular system
    the organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body
  21. carpal
    any of the eight small bones of the wrist of primates
  22. cartilage
    tough elastic tissue, mostly converted to bone in adults
  23. central nervous system
    the portion of the vertebrate nervous system consisting of the brain and spinal cord
  24. cerebellum
    a major division of the vertebrate brain
  25. cerebrum
    anterior portion of the brain consisting of two hemispheres
  26. circulation
    the movement of blood through the heart and blood vessels
  27. circulatory system
    the organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body
  28. clavicle
    bone linking the scapula and sternum
  29. cranium
    the part of the skull that encloses the brain
  30. dermis
    the deep vascular inner layer of the skin
  31. diaphragm
    a muscular partition in the chest used in respiration
  32. digestion
    the process by which the body breaks down food
  33. digestive system
    the system that makes food absorbable into the body
  34. endocrine system
    the system of glands that produce endocrine secretions that help to control bodily metabolic activity
  35. enzyme
    a complex protein produced by cells that acts as a catalyst
  36. epidermis
    the outer layer of skin covering the body surface
  37. epiglottis
    a flap of cartilage that covers the windpipe while swallowing
  38. esophagus
    the passage between the pharynx and the stomach
  39. femur
    the thigh bone of the human skeleton
  40. fibula
    the outer and thinner of the two bones of the human leg between the knee and ankle
  41. gall bladder
    a muscular sac attached to the liver that stores bile (secreted by the liver) until it is needed for digestion
  42. gastric juice
    digestive secretions of the stomach glands consisting chiefly of hydrochloric acid and mucin and the enzymes pepsin and rennin and lipase
  43. gland
    a small organ that synthesizes and secretes chemicals
  44. gliding joint
    a freely moving joint in which the articulations allow only gliding motions
  45. heart valve
    a valve to control one-way flow of blood
  46. hemoglobin
    a red protein in blood that transports oxygen
  47. hinge joint
    a freely moving joint in which the bones are so articulated as to allow extensive movement in one plane
  48. hormone
    the secretion of an endocrine gland transmitted by the blood
  49. immune system
    a system (including the thymus and bone marrow and lymphoid tissues) that protects the body from foreign substances and pathogenic organisms by producing the immune response
  50. integumentary system
    the skin and its appendages
  51. involuntary muscle
    a muscle that contracts without conscious control and found in walls of internal organs such as stomach and intestine and bladder and blood vessels (excluding the heart)
  52. joint
    the point of connection between two bones
  53. kidney
    either of two bean-shaped excretory organs that filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them and water in urine
  54. large intestine
    beginning with the cecum and ending with the rectum
  55. larynx
    the structure containing the vocal cords
  56. ligament
    a band of fibrous tissue connecting bones or cartilages
  57. liver
    large and complicated reddish-brown glandular organ located in the upper right portion of the abdominal cavity; secretes bile and functions in metabolism of protein and carbohydrate and fat; synthesizes substances involved in the clotting of the blood; synthesizes vitamin A; detoxifies poisonous substances and breaks down worn-out erythrocytes
  58. lung
    either of two saclike respiratory organs in the chest of vertebrates; serves to remove carbon dioxide and provide oxygen to the blood
  59. lymphatic system
    the interconnected system of spaces and vessels between body tissues and organs by which lymph circulates throughout the body
  60. lymph node
    the source of lymph and lymphocytes
  61. mandible
    the jaw in vertebrates that is hinged to open the mouth
  62. maxilla
    the jaw in vertebrates that is fused to the cranium
  63. melanin
    insoluble pigments that account for the color of e.g. skin and scales and feathers
  64. metacarpal
    any bone of the hand between the wrist and fingers
  65. metatarsal
    any bone of the foot between the ankle and the toes
  66. motor neuron
    a neuron conducting impulses outwards from the brain or spinal cord
  67. mucous membrane
    mucus-secreting membrane lining all body cavities or passages that communicate with the exterior
  68. mucus
    protective secretion of membranes lining internal organs
  69. muscle
    one of the contractile organs of the body
  70. muscle system
    the muscular system of an organism
  71. nerve
    a bundle of fibers running to organs and tissues of the body
  72. nervous system
    the sensory and control apparatus consisting of a network of nerve cells
  73. neuron
    a cell that is specialized to conduct nerve impulses
  74. organ
    a structure in an animal specialized for some function
  75. pancreas
    a large elongated exocrine gland located behind the stomach
  76. patella
    a small flat triangular bone in front of the knee
  77. phalanx
    any of the bones of the fingers or toes
  78. pharynx
    the passage to the stomach and lungs
  79. pituitary
    the master gland of the endocrine system
  80. pivot joint
    a freely moving joint in which movement is limited to rotation
  81. plasma
    the watery fluid in which blood cells are suspended
  82. platelet
    a cell fragment essential for blood clotting in vertebrates
  83. radius
    the outer of the two bones of the human forearm
  84. red blood cell
    a mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues; a biconcave disc that has no nucleus
  85. reproductive system
    organs and tissues involved in the production and maturation of gametes and in their union and subsequent development as offspring
  86. respiratory system
    the system for taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide; in terrestrial animals this is accomplished by breathing
  87. rib
    any of the 12 pairs of curved arches of bone extending from the spine to or toward the sternum in humans (and similar bones in most vertebrates)
  88. saliva
    a clear liquid secreted by glands in the mouth
  89. scapula
    flat triangular bone on the side of the shoulder in humans
  90. sensory neuron
    a neuron conducting impulses inwards to the brain or spinal cord
  91. skeletal muscle
    a muscle that is connected at either or both ends to a bone and so move parts of the skeleton; a muscle that is characterized by transverse stripes
  92. skeletal system
    the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal
  93. small intestine
    the longest part of the alimentary canal
  94. smooth muscle
    a muscle that contracts without conscious control and found in walls of internal organs such as stomach and intestine and bladder and blood vessels (excluding the heart)
  95. spinal cord
    a major part of the central nervous system which conducts sensory and motor nerve impulses to and from the brain; a long tubelike structure extending from the base of the brain through the vertebral canal to the upper lumbar region
  96. spleen
    a large oval organ between the stomach and the diaphragm
  97. sternum
    the breastbone
  98. synapse
    the junction between two neurons
  99. tarsal
    any bone of the tarsus
  100. tendon
    a band of tissue connecting a muscle to its bony attachment
  101. thoracic cavity
    the cavity in the vertebrate body enclosed by the ribs between the diaphragm and the neck and containing the lungs and heart
  102. tibia
    the inner and thicker of the two bones of the human leg between the knee and ankle
  103. tissue
    part of an organism consisting of an aggregate of cells
  104. tongue
    a mobile mass of muscular tissue located in the oral cavity
  105. tonsil
    either of two masses of lymphatic tissue one on each side of the oral pharynx
  106. trachea
    a tube that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the lungs
  107. true rib
    one of the first seven ribs in a human being which attach to the sternum
  108. ulna
    the inner and longer of the two bones of the human forearm
  109. ureter
    either of a pair of thick-walled tubes that carry urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder
  110. urethra
    duct through which urine is discharged in most mammals and which serves as the male genital duct
  111. urinary system
    the system that includes all organs involved in reproduction and in the formation and voidance of urine
  112. vein
    a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart
  113. ventricle
    a chamber of the heart that receives blood from an atrium
  114. vertebra
    one of the bony segments of the spinal column
  115. villus
    a minute hairlike projection on mucous membrane
  116. voluntary muscle
    striated muscle that can be controlled voluntarily
  117. white blood cell
    blood cells that engulf and digest bacteria and fungi
Created on January 24, 2017 (updated April 5, 2017)

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.