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Glossary: Definitions of Disability, Health and Medical Terms

Disabled World: Revised/Updated: 2019/04/22

Synopsis: Glossaries of health and disability definitions including dictionary terminology for dental and medical terms. A glossary (idioticon, vocabulary, clavis) is an alphabetical list of terms in a certain area of knowledge. Acronyms (Abbreviations) are letters referencing a program or organization by just using the first letters of the name.

Main Document

Many of the words and terms used in the health and medicine field can be confusing and hard to understand. Therefore Disabled World has supplied a number of definitions relating to many of the health and disability terms used on our website which you may encounter. Included in our glossary are the meaning of these words and terminology to help make life a little easier.

Common vocabulary terms that seem the same are sometimes not - Confusion can extend from psychological terms that are commonly assumed to be similar, if not identical, but which in fact refer to very different concepts.

Defining the Terminalogy of Reference Words


Also known as an idioticon, vocabulary, or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms.


A passage that explains the meaning of a term (a word, phrase or other set of symbols), or a type of thing. The term to be defined is called the definiendum.

Core Glossary

Several dictionaries, thesauruses, and reference books stacked on a shelf.
Several dictionaries, thesauruses, and reference books stacked on a shelf.

A simple glossary or defining dictionary which enables definition of other concepts, especially for newcomers to a language or field of study.

A core glossary contains a small working vocabulary and definitions for important or frequently encountered concepts, usually including useful idioms or metaphors.


Acronyms are a group of letters referencing a program or organization by, usually, just using the first letters of the name, e.g. "FDA" which stands for "Food and Drug Administration". People frequently use abbreviations to form acronyms to describe terms, and the health, medical, and disability fields are no exception.

Medicine Definitions

In medical dictionaries, definitions should to the greatest extent possible be:

  • a) Measurable
  • b) Reflecting current scientific knowledge
  • c) Useful clinically or in related areas where the definition will be used
  • d) Simple and easy to understand, preferably even by the general public
  • e) Specific, that is, by reading the definition only, it should ideally not be possible to refer to any other entity than the definiendum



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