Definition of meconium in English:


Pronunciation /məˈkōnēəm/ /məˈkoʊniəm/


  • The dark green substance forming the first feces of a newborn infant.

    ‘Infants who pass thin meconium, which is yellow to light green and watery, are more likely to be healthy at birth.’
    • ‘In 95 percent of newborns, meconium is passed by 24 hours of age.’
    • ‘The question as to why some infants may discharge meconium in times of stress and other infants do not has not been well studied.’
    • ‘A common presentation is failure to pass meconium in the first 24 hours coupled with a gradual onset of abdominal distension and vomiting.’
    • ‘Urine samples were collected from the women and meconium samples were collected from each baby.’


Early 18th century from Latin, literally ‘poppy juice’, from Greek mēkōnion, from mēkōn ‘poppy’.