1610s, from Latin pituitarius (mucous), from pituita ("clammy moisture, phlegm, mucus, slime"), possibly from PIE root *peie- ("to be fat, swell"). Taken as the name for the gland because it was believed that it channeled mucus to the nose. As a noun by 1899.
pituitary (not comparable)
- (anatomy) Of or relating to the pituitary gland.
pituitary (plural pituitaries)
- (anatomy) The pituitary gland.
- (anatomy) The pituitary gland together with the pituitary stalk.
- (medicine) An extract from the pituitary gland.