Glossary of Terms

This glossary of terms is meant to help everyone understand medical words. It is a place to quickly find information on medical words.

To find a word or term begin by clicking on a letter in the A-Z list. Then you can browse down the list to find the word you want. You can also type your medical word in the search box in the upper right corner and then click on the little magnifying glass.

This glossary is for information only. It should never be used instead of advice from a healthcare provider.

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a place where you can get help when you don't have a family doctor, or when you can't get an appointment with your family doctor

walk-in-clinics are not for medical emergencies

warning sign

signals that something may be wrong, for example pain or a fever


a course whistling sound when you breathe

whooping cough (pertussis)

disease of your lungs

a disease caused by bacteria that infects your lungs and airways. Pertussis causes serious coughing fits that can lead to choking or vomiting. The coughing can be so intense that a “whooping” sound happens when an infected person tries to catch his or her breath. This is why pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough