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Glossary

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S

  • schizophrenia

    A mental disorder that has symptoms of delusions, hallucinations and a loss of a sense of self and relationship to the external world that lasts over a long period of time (more than six months).

  • sciatica

    Syndrome characterised by pain radiating from the back into the buttock and into the lower extremity the term is also used to refer to pain anywhere along the course of the sciatic nerve (the hip region).

  • scissors

    Cutting tool consisting of two bevel-edged cutting blades with handles and being movable past one another on a pivot in the center by which they are held together.

  • sclera

    The white fibrous outer layer of the eyeball. It covers approximately the five sixths of its surface and continuous anteriorly with the cornea and posteriorly with the external sheath of the optic nerve.

  • Scold's bridle

    A punishment for women who spoke too much or were troublesome. Also referred to as 'the brank' or 'branks', it consisted of an iron cage that covered the head with a gag that projected into the mouth. This gag was often studded to heighten the punishment.

  • scoop

    A long handled spoon like instrument used for scraping parts of the body, or extracting foreign bodies.

  • scraper

    Any of various tools used for scraping, producing a clean or a smooth finished surface, cutting grooves, or shaping objects by scraping away superfluous material.

  • screwbarrel microscope

    A microscope that can be separated into many pieces and carried in a case.

  • scrofula

    A disease that leads to a swelling of the neck, and inflammations of the skin, bones and joints. It was once believed that the touch of a king could cure the disease, hence its alternative name: ‘King's Evil’.

  • scroll

    A roll, as of parchment or papyrus, used especially for writing a document.

  • scurvy

    Disease caused by a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which is contained in fresh fruit and vegetables. Symptoms include weakness, painful joints, and bleeding gums.

  • seal - artefact

    Refers to artefact bearing monograms, writing, numbers, symbols, or designs in intaglio that are used for making an impression in relief on some soft, tenacious substance such as clay or wax. They may be flat or cylindrical, the impression made by rolling the seal over the surface. The term also refers to the impressions that have been made in wax, clay, or another soft material by the impact of a seal or other hard engraved surface. Seals are generally used to authenticate documents or for decoration.

  • sedan chair

    Portable chair consisting of canvas hung on two long poles. Sedan chairs were sometimes used to transport the sick.

  • sedative

    Drugs used for their calming effect, to reduce anxiety and tension. At high doses they cause sleep.

  • seizure

    A sudden attack caused by a disorder, in particular a convulsion.

  • semisynthetic

    a substance that is prepared synthetically but derives from a naturally occurring material

  • septicaemia

    Blood poisoning caused by the spread of bacteria from an infection.

  • sepulchral slab

    Stone slab used to mark the site of a grave

  • sepulchral vase

    Piece of sepulchral sculpture in the form of a vase form part of a tomb

  • serrenoeud

    An instrument for tightening a ligature

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