Human Anatomy and Physiology - Introductory

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!

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. artery
    a blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body
  6. atrium
    a chamber connected to other chambers or passageways
  7. ball-and-socket joint
    a joint that can rotate within a socket
  8. bile
    a digestive juice secreted by the liver
  9. bladder
    a distensible membranous sac
  10. blood
    the fluid that is pumped through the body by the heart
  11. blood vessel
    a vessel in which blood circulates
  12. bone
    rigid tissue that makes up the skeleton of vertebrates
  13. bone marrow
    the fatty network of connective tissue that fills the cavities of bones
  14. brain
    the center of the nervous system
  15. capillary
    a minute blood vessel connecting arterioles with venules
  16. cardiovascular system
    the organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body
  17. cartilage
    tough elastic tissue, mostly converted to bone in adults
  18. circulation
    the movement of blood through the heart and blood vessels
  19. circulatory system
    the organs and tissues involved in circulating blood and lymph through the body
  20. cranium
    the part of the skull that encloses the brain
  21. diaphragm
    a muscular partition in the chest used in respiration
  22. digestion
    the process by which the body breaks down food
  23. digestive system
    the system that makes food absorbable into the body
  24. epidermis
    the outer layer of skin covering the body surface
  25. epiglottis
    a flap of cartilage that covers the windpipe while swallowing
  26. esophagus
    the passage between the pharynx and the stomach
  27. gall bladder
    a muscular sac attached to the liver that stores bile (secreted by the liver) until it is needed for digestion
  28. gastric juice
    digestive secretions of the stomach glands consisting chiefly of hydrochloric acid and mucin and the enzymes pepsin and rennin and lipase
  29. gland
    a small organ that synthesizes and secretes chemicals
  30. gliding joint
    a freely moving joint in which the articulations allow only gliding motions
  31. heart valve
    a valve to control one-way flow of blood
  32. hinge joint
    a freely moving joint in which the bones are so articulated as to allow extensive movement in one plane
  33. 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
  34. joint
    the point of connection between two bones
  35. kidney
    either of two bean-shaped excretory organs that filter wastes (especially urea) from the blood and excrete them and water in urine
  36. large intestine
    beginning with the cecum and ending with the rectum
  37. larynx
    the structure containing the vocal cords
  38. ligament
    a band of fibrous tissue connecting bones or cartilages
  39. 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
  40. lung
    either of two saclike respiratory organs in the chest of vertebrates; serves to remove carbon dioxide and provide oxygen to the blood
  41. mucus
    protective secretion of membranes lining internal organs
  42. muscle
    one of the contractile organs of the body
  43. muscle system
    the muscular system of an organism
  44. nerve
    a bundle of fibers running to organs and tissues of the body
  45. nervous system
    the sensory and control apparatus consisting of a network of nerve cells
  46. organ
    a structure in an animal specialized for some function
  47. pancreas
    a large elongated exocrine gland located behind the stomach
  48. pharynx
    the passage to the stomach and lungs
  49. pivot joint
    a freely moving joint in which movement is limited to rotation
  50. plasma
    the watery fluid in which blood cells are suspended
  51. platelet
    a cell fragment essential for blood clotting in vertebrates
  52. red blood cell
    a mature blood cell that contains hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the bodily tissues; a biconcave disc that has no nucleus
  53. respiratory system
    the system for taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide; in terrestrial animals this is accomplished by breathing
  54. 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)
  55. saliva
    a clear liquid secreted by glands in the mouth
  56. skeletal system
    the hard structure (bones and cartilages) that provides a frame for the body of an animal
  57. small intestine
    the longest part of the alimentary canal
  58. 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
  59. spleen
    a large oval organ between the stomach and the diaphragm
  60. tendon
    a band of tissue connecting a muscle to its bony attachment
  61. tissue
    part of an organism consisting of an aggregate of cells
  62. tongue
    a mobile mass of muscular tissue located in the oral cavity
  63. tonsil
    either of two masses of lymphatic tissue one on each side of the oral pharynx
  64. trachea
    a tube that conveys inhaled air from the larynx to the lungs
  65. vein
    a blood vessel that carries blood toward the heart
  66. ventricle
    a chamber of the heart that receives blood from an atrium
  67. vertebra
    one of the bony segments of the spinal column
  68. villus
    a minute hairlike projection on mucous membrane
  69. 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, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.