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Glossary

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A

  • anthropometry

    The measuring of body parts so that comparisons can be made. The aim is to measure normal and abnormal development. In the past, it has also been used in attempts to measure racial difference.

  • anthropomorphic

    From anthropomorphism, which projects human characteristics such as speech, emotion and reason on to animals or objects.

  • anti-bacterial

    A substance that destroys bacteria or slows their growth or reproduction.

  • antibiotic

    A substance that is used to treat infections.

  • antibody

    Molecules produced by the body which attach themselves to the micro-organisms that cause disease and destroy them.

  • antigen

    A substance that stimulates an immune response when introduced into the body.

  • anti-inflammatory

    A drug that reduces inflammation by working against the elements in the body that cause and maintain the inflammation.

  • anti-malarial drug

    Drugs that are taken to prevent or cure malaria. Treatments can be preventative, or as therapy to cure malarial infection.

  • anti-masturbation device

    A device worn to prevent masturbation, which was thought to be bad for one's health. Often referred to as a ‘chastity belt’.

  • antimony cup

    Cup made of antimony

  • anti-mosquito hood

    A hood used to protect the wearer from flies and mosquitoes.

  • anti-semitic

    Discrimination and prejudice against Jewish people. Its most extreme form was found in Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s with the Holocaust.

  • antisepsis

    The practice of using antiseptic drugs to eliminate harmful micro-organisms.

  • antiseptic

    A chemical that destroys or holds back the growth of bacteria and harmful micro-organisms. It can be used to cleanse skin wounds and treat some internal infections if it is sufficiently non-toxic.

  • antiseptic machine

    machine used to make the atmosphere antispetic

  • antiseptic tissue

    disposable paper-tissue impregnated with antiseptic agent used for sterilizing surfaces, hands etc.

  • antitoxin

    An antibody, a type of protein, which is produced to counter-act any bacterial toxins present in the body. It combines with toxins (antigens) in the blood and neutralises them.

  • apothecary

    A term used until about 1800 to describe someone who prepares and sells drugs or compounds for medicinal purposes. Today the term ‘pharmacist’ or ‘pharmaceutical chemist’ is used instead.

  • appliances

    Devices used in a domestic context that facilitate such tasks as food preparation, food storage, cleaning, and grooming and that are powered by fuel or electricity.

  • application form

    Forms used by persons requesting assistance, authorization, employment, admission, or other action

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