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Medical Academic Vocabulary List (MAVL)

This page describes the Medical Academic Vocabulary List (MAVL), giving information on what the MAVL is, as well as a complete list of all words in the MAVL.


To explore the list more fully, try the MAVL highlighter (on this site).


What is the MAVL?

The Medical Academic Vocabulary List (MAVL) was developed by Lei Lei and Liu Dilin in 2015, based on a study of a 2.7 million-word corpus of medical academic English and a 3.5 million-word corpus of medical English textbooks. The coverage of the MAVL in the two corpuses was 19.44% and 20.18% respectively.


The MAVL can be contrasted with the earlier Medical Academic Word List (MAWL), developed in 2008, in four ways. First, unlike the MAWL, which used only medical academic English texts, the MAVL used both medical academic English texts alongside medical English textbooks to develop the list. Second, the MAVL considered all words in English, whereas the MAWL, like most other academic lists, eliminated higher frequency general words, in the same way that the Academic Word List was developed by Averil Coxhead by first eliminating words from the GSL. The MAVL included general words since many such words have a higher frequency in academic English than general English and frequently have special meanings in academic contexts, making them potentially more important for inclusion in a specialist academic list. In this regard, it is similar to the AVL (Academic Vocabulary List), developed by Gardner and Davies in 2014, from which it derives its name. A third difference is that the MAVL includes only lemmas (i.e. words and their inflected forms such as plurals or verb forms), rather than whole word families, which makes the list much shorter, with fewer than half as many total words as the MAWL. A fourth and final difference is greater coverage, with the MAVL covering 19.44% of words in medical academic English texts, compared to 10.52% for the MAWL, and 20.18% of words in medical English textbooks, in contrast to 12.97% for the MAWL.


References

Lei, L., Liu, D. (2016) 'A new medical academic word list: A corpus-based study with enhanced methodology', Journal of English for Academic Purposes, Vol 22, p.42-53.


Medical Academic Vocabulary List

The list below contains all 819 words in the MAVL, along with word form, and lemmas (i.e. inflected forms such as plurals and verb forms). Words contain hyperlinks to the Wordnet dictionary, hosted on this site (definitions open in an alert box on the same page).



Headword    Word form    Lemmas   
abdominaladj
abilitynounabilities
abnormaladj
abnormalitynounabnormalities
absencenounabsences
absentadj
absoluteadj
absorptionnounabsorptions
accordverbaccorded, according, accords
accumulateverbaccumulated, accumulates, accumulating
accumulationnounaccumulations
accuracynounaccuracies
accurateadj
accuratelyadv
acidnounacids
acquireverbacquired, acquires, acquiring
activateverbactivated, activates, activating
activationnoun
activeadj
activitynounactivities
acuteadj
adequateadj
adequatelyadv
adjacentadj
adjustverbadjusted, adjusting, adjusts
administerverbadministered, administering, administers
administrationnounadministrations
admissionnounadmissions
adultadj
adultnounadults
advanceverbadvanced, advances, advancing
advancedadj
adverseadj
affectverbaffected, affecting, affects
agenounages
agedadj
agentnounagents
aggressiveadj
agonistnounagonists
albuminnounalbumins
alterverbaltered, altering, alters
alterationnounalterations
alteredadj
alternativelyadv
analysisnounanalyses
animalnounanimals
antagonistnounantagonists
anterioradj
antiinflammatoryadj
antibioticnounantibiotics
antibodynounantibodies
anxietynounanxieties
apoptosisnoun
approachnounapproaches
appropriateadj
arrestnounarrested, arresting, arrests
arterialadj
arterynounarteries
assaynounassays
assessverbassessed, assesses, assessing
assessmentnounassessments
associateverbassociated, associates, associating
associationnounassociations
asymptomaticadj
attributableadj
attributeverbattributed, attributes, attributing
availabilitynounavailabilities
averageadj
averagenounaverages
axisnoun
bacterialadj
barriernounbarriers
basaladj
baseverbbased, bases, basing
baselinenounbaselines
beneficialadj
benefitnounbenefits
benignadj
bestadj
bindverbbinding, binds, bound
bindingnounbindings
biochemicaladj
biologicaladj
biologynoun
biopsynounbiopsies
bleedingnounbleedings
blockverbblocked, blocking, blocks
bloodnoun
bowelnounbowels
brainnounbrains
burdennounburdens
cancernouncancers
carcinomanouncarcinomas
cardiacadj
cardiovascularadj
carenouncares
carriernouncarriers
casenouncases
categorynouncategories
causenouncauses
causeverbcaused, causes, causing
cellnouncells
cellularadj
cerebraladj
changenounchanges
characteriseverbcharacterised, characterises, characterising, characterize, characterize, characterized, characterized, characterizes, characterizes, characterizing, characterizing
characteristicadj
characteristicnouncharacteristics
chestnounchests
childhoodnounchildhoods
chronicadj
circulateverbcirculated, circulates, circulating
circulationnouncirculations
classificationnounclassifications
classifyverbclassified, classifies, classifying
clearancenounclearances
clinicnounclinics
clinicaladj
clinicallyadv
cliniciannounclinicians
clusternounclusters
codeverbcoded, codes, coding
cognitiveadj
cohortnouncohorts
collectverbcollected, collecting, collects
collectionnouncollections
combinationnouncombinations
combineverbcombined, combines, combining
combinedadj
commonadj
commonlyadv
comparableadj
compartmentnouncompartments
completeadj
completeverbcompleted, completes, completing
complexnouncomplexes
compliancenouncompliances
complicationnouncomplications
componentnouncomponents
composeverbcomposed, composes, composing
compoundnouncompounds
compromiseverbcompromised, compromised, compromises, compromises, compromising, compromising, compromize
computeverbcomputed, computes, computing
concentrationnounconcentrations
concomitantadj
conditionnounconditions
conductverbconducted, conducting, conducts
conferverbconfering, conferred, conferring, confers
confirmverbconfirmed, confirming, confirms
consensusnoun
consumptionnounconsumptions
contentnouncontents
continuousadj
contrastnouncontrasts
controlnouncontrols
controlverbcontrolled, controlling, controls
controlledadj
controversialadj
converselyadv
conversionnounconversions
corenouncores
correctverbcorrected, correcting, corrects
correctionnouncorrections
correlateverbcorrelated, correlates, correlating
correlationnouncorrelations
countnouncounts
creatininenoun
criterionnouncriteria, criterions
criticaladj
culturenouncultures
currentadj
curvenouncurves
cyclenouncycles
cytokinenouncytokines
damagenoundamages
datumnoundatums
deathnoundeaths
decreasenoundecreases
decreaseverbdecreased, decreases, decreasing
defectnoundefects
deficiencynoundeficiencies
defineverbdefined, defines, defining
definitionnoundefinitions
definitiveadj
delaynoundelays
delayverbdelayed, delaying, delays
deliverynoundeliveries
demonstrateverbdemonstrated, demonstrates, demonstrating
densitynoundensities
dependencenoundependences
dependentadj
deriveverbderived, derives, deriving
detectverbdetected, detecting, detects
detectableadj
detectionnoundetections
determinantnoundeterminants
determinationnoundeterminations
determineverbdetermined, determines, determining
developverbdeveloped, developing, develops
deviationnoundeviations
devicenoundevices
diabetesnoun
diagnoseverbdiagnosed, diagnoses, diagnosing
diagnosisnoundiagnoses
diagnosticadj
diameternoundiameters
dietnoundiets
differentialadj
differentiateverbdifferentiated, differentiates, differentiating
differentiationnoundifferentiations
diffuseadj
diminishverbdiminished, diminishes, diminishing
disabilitynoundisabilities
dischargenoundischarges
discontinueverbdiscontinued, discontinues, discontinuing
diseasenoundiseases
disordernoundisorders
distaladj
distinguishverbdistinguished, distinguishes, distinguishing
distressnoundistresses
distributionnoundistributions
divideverbdivided, divides, dividing
documentverbdocumented, documenting, documents
domainnoundomains
dosagenoundosages
dosenoundoses
drugnoundrugs
dueadj
durationnoundurations
dysfunctionnoundysfunctions
effectnouneffects
effectiveadj
effectivenessnoun
efficacynounefficacies
elderlyadj
elevatedadj
elevationnounelevations
elicitverbelicited, eliciting, elicits
eliminateverbeliminated, eliminates, eliminating
emphasiseverbemphasised, emphasised, emphasises, emphasises, emphasising, emphasising, emphasize
empiricaladj
encodeverbencoded, encodes, encoding
endogenousadj
endothelialadj
enhanceverbenhanced, enhances, enhancing
entitynounentities
enzymenounenzymes
epidemiologicaladj
epidemiologynoun
episodenounepisodes
equivalentadj
errornounerrors
establishedadj
evaluationnounevaluations
eventnounevents
evidencenoun
evidentadj
evolveverbevolved, evolves, evolving
exactadj
examinationnounexaminations
examineverbexamined, examines, examining
exceedverbexceeded, exceeding, exceeds
excessadj
excessiveadj
excludeverbexcluded, excludes, excluding
exclusionnounexclusions
exercisenounexercises
exertverbexerted, exerting, exerts
exhibitverbexhibited, exhibiting, exhibits
experienceverbexperienced, experiences, experiencing
experiencedadj
experimentnounexperiments
experimentaladj
exposeverbexposed, exposes, exposing
exposurenounexposures
expressverbexpressed, expresses, expressing
expressionnounexpressions
extensionnounextensions
extensiveadj
externaladj
extracellularadj
facilitateverbfacilitated, facilitates, facilitating
factornounfactors
failurenounfailures
falseadj
familialadj
fatiguenoun
femaleadj
femalenounfemales
fevernounfevers
fig.noun
flownounflows
fluidnounfluids
focaladj
focusnounfoci, focuses
focusverbfocused, focuses, focusing, focussed, focussing
foetaladj
follow-upnoun
formationnounformations
fractionnounfractions
fragmentnounfragments
frequencynounfrequencies
frequentadj
functionnounfunctions
functionverbfunctioned, functioning, functions
functionaladj
gainnoungains
gastrointestinaladj
genenoungenes
generaliseverbgeneralised, generalised, generalises, generalises, generalising, generalising, generalize
generateverbgenerated, generates, generating
geneticadj
genomenoungenomes
genotypenoungenotypes
globaladj
glucosenoun
gradenoungrades
greatestadj
groupnoungroups
growthnoungrowths
guideverbguided, guides, guiding
guidelinenounguidelines
hazardnounhazards
healingnoun
healthnoun
healthyadj
heightnounheights
heterogeneousadj
high-riskadj
highadj
histologicaladj
historynounhistories
hormonenounhormones
hospitalnounhospitals
hostnounhosts
humanadj
humannounhumans
hypertensionnoun
hypothesisnounhypotheses
identicaladj
identificationnounidentifications
identifyverbidentified, identifies, identifying
illnessnounillnesses
imagenounimages
imagingnounimagings
immuneadj
immunosuppressiveadj
impairedadj
implicateverbimplicated, implicates, implicating
inabilitynouninabilities
inadequateadj
incidencenounincidences
includeverbincluded, includes, including
inclusionnouninclusions
incompleteadj
incubationnounincubations
indexnounindexes, indices
indicateverbindicated, indicates, indicating
indicationnounindications
indicatornounindicators
indirectadj
individualadj
individualnounindividuals
induceverbinduced, induces, inducing
inductionnouninductions
infectionnouninfections
infectiousadj
inferioradj
inflammationnouninflammations
inflammatoryadj
infusionnouninfusions
inhibitverbinhibited, inhibiting, inhibits
inhibitionnouninhibitions
inhibitornouninhibitors
inhibitoryadj
initialadj
initiallyadv
initiateverbinitiated, initiates, initiating
initiationnouninitiations
injectverbinjected, injecting, injects
injectionnouninjections
injurynouninjuries
insertverbinserted, inserting, inserts
insertionnouninsertions
instabilitynouninstabilities
insufficientadj
insulinnouninsulins
intactadj
intakenounintakes
intensitynounintensities
intensiveadj
interactverbinteracted, interacting, interacts
interactionnouninteractions
interfereverbinterfered, interferes, interfering
intermediateadj
internaladj
interpretverbinterpreted, interpreting, interprets
interpretationnouninterpretations
intervalnounintervals
interventionnouninterventions
intestinaladj
intracellularadj
intravenousadj
intrinsicadj
introductionnounintroductions
invasiveadj
investigatornouninvestigators
involveverbinvolved, involves, involving
involvementnouninvolvements
isolateverbisolated, isolates, isolating
isolationnounisolations
kidneynounkidneys
kinasenounkinases
knownadj
labelverblabeled, labeling, labelled, labelling, labels
laboratorynounlaboratories
lateraladj
layernounlayers
leadverbleading, leads, led
leastadj
leftadj
lengthnounlengths
lesionnounlesions
levelnounlevels
likelihoodnounlikelihoods
limbnounlimbs
limitverblimited, limiting, limits
limitationnounlimitations
limitedadj
linearadj
linkagenounlinkages
loadnounloads
localisedadj
locallyadv
locatedadj
lossnounlosses
lowadj
lowerverblowered, lowering, lowers
lungnounlungs
lymphocytenounlymphocytes
macrophagenounmacrophages
magneticadj
maintenancenoun
majoradj
majoritynounmajorities
maleadj
malenounmales
malignancynounmalignancies
manifestationnounmanifestations
marginnounmargins
markedadj
markedlyadv
markernounmarkers
massnounmasses
matrixnounmatrices, matrixes
maximaladj
maximumnounmaxima, maximums
meannounmeans
measurenounmeasures
measureverbmeasured, measures, measuring
measurementnounmeasurements
mechanicaladj
mechanismnounmechanisms
medianadj
mediateverbmediated, mediates, mediating
mediatornounmediators
medicaladj
medicationnounmedications
medicinenounmedicines
mediumnounmediums
mellitusnoun
membranenounmembranes
mentaladj
meta-analysisnoun
metabolicadj
metabolismnounmetabolisms
methodnounmethods
migrationnounmigrations
mildadj
minimaladj
minimiseverbminimised, minimised, minimises, minimises, minimising, minimising, minimize
minoradj
mixedadj
modalitynounmodalities
modelnounmodels
moderateadj
moderatelyadv
modestadj
modificationnounmodifications
modifyverbmodified, modifies, modifying
molecularadj
moleculenounmolecules
monitorverbmonitored, monitoring, monitors
monitoringnounmonitorings
monoclonaladj
monthnounmonths
morbiditynoun
morphologynounmorphologies
mortalitynounmortalities
mousenounmice, mouses
multipleadj
namelyadv
necknounnecks
necrosisnoun
needlenounneedles
negativeadj
neonataladj
nervenounnerves
networknounnetworks
neurologicaladj
nodenounnodes
normaladj
notablyadv
nucleusnounnuclei
numbernoun
numerousadj
obesitynoun
objectiveadj
observationnounobservations
observeverbobserved, observes, observing
occurrencenounoccurrences
onsetnoun
optimaladj
oraladj
organnounorgans
outcomenounoutcomes
overlapverboverlapped, overlapping, overlaps
oxygennounoxygens
painnounpains
parameternounparameters
partialadj
partiallyadv
pathogenesisnoun
pathologicaladj
pathologynounpathologies
pathwaynounpathways
patientnounpatients
patternnounpatterns
peaknounpeaks
percentagenounpercentages
performverbperformed, performing, performs
performancenounperformances
periodnounperiods
peripheraladj
persistverbpersisted, persisting, persists
persistentadj
phasenounphases
phenomenonnounphenomena
phenotypenounphenotypes
physicaladj
physiciannounphysicians
physiologicaladj
placebonounplacebos
plasmanounplasmas
platenounplates
polymorphismnounpolymorphisms
poorlyadv
populationnounpopulations
portionnounportions
positiveadj
postoperativeadj
potentadj
potentialadj
potentialnounpotentials
practisenounpractises
practitionernounpractitioners
precedeverbpreceded, precedes, preceding
predictiveadj
predisposeverbpredisposed, predisposes, predisposing
predominantadj
predominantlyadv
pregnancynounpregnancies
prematureadj
preparationnounpreparations
prescribeverbprescribed, prescribes, prescribing
prescriptionnounprescriptions
presentadj
presentverbpresented, presenting, presents
presentationnounpresentations
pressurenounpressures
prevalencenounprevalences
prevalentadj
preventverbprevented, preventing, prevents
preventionnounpreventions
primaryadj
prioradj
prioradv
probabilitynounprobabilities
procedurenounprocedures
processnounprocesses
processingnoun
profilenounprofiles
prognosisnoun
prognosticadj
progressverbprogressed, progresses, progressing
progressionnounprogressions
progressiveadj
proliferationnounproliferations
prolongedadj
prominentadj
promoteverbpromoted, promotes, promoting
proportionnounproportions
prospectiveadj
proteasenounproteases
protectiveadj
proteinnounproteins
proximaladj
psychologicaladj
pulmonaryadj
pulsenounpulses
qualitynounqualities
quantitativeadj
randomiseverbrandomised, randomised, randomises, randomises, randomising, randomising, randomize
rangenounranges
rangeverbranged, ranges, ranging
ratnounrats
ratenounrates
rationounratios
reactionnounreactions
reactiveadj
receptornounreceptors
recipientnounrecipients
recogniseverbrecognised, recognised, recognises, recognises, recognising, recognising, recognize
recordverbrecorded, recording, records
recoverynounrecoveries
recurrencenounrecurrences
recurrentadj
reduceverbreduced, reduces, reducing
reductionnounreductions
referencenounreferences
referralnounreferrals
reflectverbreflected, reflecting, reflects
regimennounregimens
regionnounregions
regulateverbregulated, regulates, regulating
regulationnounregulations
regulatoryadj
relapsenounrelapses
relateverbrelated, relates, relating
relatedadj
relationshipnounrelationships
releasenounreleases
relevancenounrelevances
reliableadj
removalnounremovals
renaladj
repairnounrepairs
repeatnounrepeats
repeatverbrepeated, repeating, repeats
replacementnounreplacements
replicationnounreplications
reportverbreported, reporting, reports
researchnoun
resectionnounresections
residualadj
resistancenounresistances
resistantadj
resolutionnounresolutions
resonancenounresonances
respectivelyadv
respiratoryadj
responsenounresponses
restrictedadj
reviewnounreviews
reviewverbreviewed, reviewing, reviews
risknounrisks
rolenounroles
routineadj
routinelyadv
safetynounsafeties
salinenoun
samplenounsamples
samplingnounsamplings
scalenounscales
scannounscans
scanverbscanned, scanning, scans
scanningnoun
scorenounscores
screenverbscreened, screening, screens
screeningnounscreenings
secondaryadj
secretionnounsecretions
segmentnounsegments
selectverbselected, selecting, selects
selectionnounselections
selectiveadj
sensitiveadj
sensitivitynounsensitivities
sequencenounsequences
seriesnoun
serumnounserums
severitynounseverities
sexnounsexes
shiftnounshifts
short-termadj
showverbshowed, showing, shown, shows
signalnounsignals
significancenounsignificances
significantadj
sitenounsites
sodiumnoun
solidadj
specificadj
specificitynounspecificities
specimennounspecimens
spectrumnounspectra, spectrums
spontaneousadj
stabiliseverbstabilised, stabilised, stabilises, stabilises, stabilising, stabilising, stabilize
stableadj
stagenounstages
standardadj
statusnoun
stemnounstems
steroidnounsteroids
stimulateverbstimulated, stimulates, stimulating
stimulationnounstimulations
stimulusnounstimuli
strainnounstrains
strategynounstrategies
stressnounstresses
strokenounstrokes
structuraladj
subgroupnounsubgroups
subjectadj
subjectnounsubjects
subsequentlyadv
subsetnounsubsets
substantiallyadv
substratenounsubstrates
subtypenounsubtypes
summariseverbsummarised, summarised, summarises, summarises, summarising, summarising, summarize
summarynounsummaries
superioradj
supplementationnoun
supportverbsupported, supporting, supports
supportiveadj
suppressverbsuppressed, suppresses, suppressing
suppressionnounsuppressions
surfacenounsurfaces
surgeonnounsurgeons
surgerynounsurgeries
surgicaladj
surveillancenounsurveillances
surveynounsurveys
survivalnounsurvivals
susceptibilitynounsusceptibilities
susceptibleadj
sustainedadj
symptomnounsymptoms
symptomaticadj
syndromenounsyndromes
synthesisnounsyntheses
systematicadj
systemicadj
tablenountables
targetnountargets
targetverbtargeted, targeting, targets, targetted, targetting
tasknountasks
techniquenountechniques
temporaladj
testnountests
testverbtested, testing, tests
testingnountestings
therapeuticadj
therapynountherapies
thereafteradv
therebyadv
thresholdnounthresholds
timingnountimings
tissuenountissues
tolerancenountolerances
tolerateverbtolerated, tolerates, tolerating
tomographynoun
toxicitynountoxicities
tractnountracts
transcriptionnountranscriptions
transformverbtransformed, transforming, transforms
transformationnountransformations
transientadj
transmissionnountransmissions
traumanountraumas
treatverbtreated, treating, treats
treatmentnountreatments
trendnountrends
trialnountrials
triggerverbtriggered, triggering, triggers
tubenountubes
typenountypes
typicallyadv
ultrasoundnounultrasounds
unclearadj
undergoverbundergoes, undergoing, undergone, underwent
underlieverbunderlay, underlying
unitnoununits
unknownadj
untreatedadj
upperadj
uptakenounuptakes
urinaryadj
urinenoun
utiliseverbutilised, utilised, utilises, utilises, utilising, utilising, utilize
valuenounvalues
variabilitynounvariabilities
variableadj
variantnounvariants
variationnounvariations
varyverbvaried, varies, varying
vascularadj
veinnounveins
venousadj
ventricularadj
vesselnounvessels
vitaminnounvitamins
volumenounvolumes
weightnounweights
worsenverbworsened, worsening, worsens
woundnounwounds
yieldnounyields
yieldverbyielded, yielding, yields


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Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 28 April 2020.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of EAPFoundation.com. He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.



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