Virginal membrane
A thin membrane which completely or partially occludes the vaginal opening. This fold of mucous membrane is usually present at birth at the orifice of the vagina. In medicine, it is called the vaginal membrane or the hymen. Hymen is a Greek word meaning "skin" or "membrane." The ancient Greeks applied the word "hymen" to all kinds of membranes including, for example, the membrane that surrounds the heart (the pericardium). Starting in the 1500s the word was restricted to refer only to the vaginal membrane.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Virginal membrane — Virginal Vir gin*al, a. [L. virginalis: cf. F. virginal.] Of or pertaining to a virgin; becoming a virgin; maidenly. Chastity and honor virginal. Spenser. [1913 Webster] {Virginal generation} (Biol.), parthenogenesis. {Virginal membrane} (Anat.) …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • virginal membrane — noun a fold of tissue that partly covers the entrance to the vagina of a virgin • Syn: ↑hymen, ↑maidenhead • Derivationally related forms: ↑hymenal (for: ↑hymen) • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • virginal membrane — noun The hymen …   Wiktionary

  • virginal membrane — hymen, maidenhead, vaginal tissue that is torn when a woman has sexual relations for the first time …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Virginal — Vir gin*al, a. [L. virginalis: cf. F. virginal.] Of or pertaining to a virgin; becoming a virgin; maidenly. Chastity and honor virginal. Spenser. [1913 Webster] {Virginal generation} (Biol.), parthenogenesis. {Virginal membrane} (Anat.), the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Virginal generation — Virginal Vir gin*al, a. [L. virginalis: cf. F. virginal.] Of or pertaining to a virgin; becoming a virgin; maidenly. Chastity and honor virginal. Spenser. [1913 Webster] {Virginal generation} (Biol.), parthenogenesis. {Virginal membrane} (Anat.) …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • membrane — 1. A thin sheet or layer of pliable tissue, serving as a covering or envelope of a part, as the lining of a cavity, as a partition or septum, or to connect two structures. SYN: membrana [TA]. 2. SYN: biomembrane. [L. membrana, a skin or m …   Medical dictionary

  • mucous membrane — noun mucus secreting membrane lining all body cavities or passages that communicate with the exterior • Syn: ↑mucosa • Derivationally related forms: ↑mucosal (for: ↑mucosa) • Hypernyms: ↑membrane, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Hymen — A thin membrane which completely or partially occludes the vaginal opening. The hymen is a fold of mucous membrane usually present at birth at the orifice of the vagina. It is also called the vaginal membrane (or, sometimes, the virginal… …   Medical dictionary

  • hymen — 1610s, from Fr. hymen (16c.), from medical Latin, ultimately from Gk. hymen membrane (especially virginal membrane, the membrane par excellence); thin skin, from PIE *syu men , from root *syu to bind, sew (see SEW (Cf. sew)). Originally any… …   Etymology dictionary

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