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Biology LibreTexts

25.23: Glossary: W

  • Page ID
  • wasting

    dangerously low levels of body fat and muscle mass, usually due to severe undernutrition

    water cycle

    biogeochemical cycle through which water is recycled on, above, and below Earth’s surface; also called hydrological cycle

    Wernicke’s area

    speech center in the brain that controls the ability to comprehend speech


    area that is saturated with water or covered by water for at least one season of the year and has plants that can grow in water-logged soil

    white blood cell

    type of cell in blood that defends the body against invading microorganisms or other threats in blood or extracellular fluid

    white matter

    type of nervous tissue that is found only in the brain and spinal cord and that connects and facilitates communication between gray matter areas


    contraceptive method with a high failure rate in which a man withdraws his penis from his partner’s vagina before ejaculation occurs; also called coitus interruptus