Originally: meningomyelocele (or myelomeningocele) (now rare or disused). Later: exposure or protrusion of the spinal cord through a defect in the vertebral column, without a meningeal covering, usually as a consequence of spina bifida; an example of this.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Charles Handfield Jones (1819–1890), physician and histologist. From myelo- + -cele. Frequently confused in form with myelocoele.