Meaning of humoral in English:


Pronunciation /ˈhjuːm(ə)rəl/


  • 1Medicine
    Relating to the body fluids, especially with regard to immune responses involving antibodies in body fluids as distinct from cells.

    ‘Still, some cell-mediated and humoral immune system responses may be slightly impaired by heavy marijuana use.’
    • ‘Both humoral and cell-mediated immune mechanisms influence the outcome of the infection.’
    • ‘Patients with humoral primary immunodeficiencies have an intact cellular immune system; thus, they are able to handle most viral and fungal pathogens, a factor that can help to distinguish these disorders clinically.’
    • ‘Therefore, they may fail to elicit a humoral immune response.’
    • ‘Furthermore, children with humoral immunodeficiencies often have infections in other sites such as ears, lung, and skin.’
    1. 1.1 historical Relating to the four bodily humours.
      ‘Holistic medicine, which for centuries had been associated with the humours, still exists - though largely bereft of humoral theory - as alternative medicine.’
      • ‘In ancient Greek history, bloodletting was practiced according to the humoral theory, which proposed that when the four humors, blood, phlegm, black and yellow bile in the human body were in balance, good health was guaranteed.’
      • ‘In humoral physiology a good fever was seen to eliminate impurities from the body and clarify all the humours.’
      • ‘The humoral vision of the body lasted until the late seventeenth century in Europe.’
      • ‘Ancient Galenic expositions of the body's humoral composition, and attendant physical fluctuations, further complicated a woman's position.’
    2. 1.2 historical (of diseases) caused by or attributed to a disordered state of body fluids or (formerly) the bodily humours.
      • ‘Greek medicine had understood gout as a humoral disease.’


Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘relating to bodily fluids’): from Old French, or from medieval Latin humoralis, from Latin humor ‘moisture’ (see humour).