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speech discrimination

SEE: under discrimination.

speech disorder

Any abnormality that prevents a person from communicating through spoken words. The disorder may develop from brain injury; stroke; muscular paralysis of the organs of speech; structural defects of the mouth, teeth, or tongue; somatization disorder; or cognitive deficits.

speech processor

A miniature computer within a cochlear implant that analyzes sounds and converts them into digital signals.



speech recognition

The ability of a machine or computer to interpret human speech. Also known as voice recognition and speech understanding.

speech spectrum

SEE: under spectrum.

speech synthesizer

An electronic device for producing speech. Activated by a keyboard, it permits persons lacking the ability to speak to communicate.

speech therapist

A health care professional trained to evaluate and treat people who have voice, speech, language, swallowing, or hearing disorders, esp. those that affect their ability to communicate or consume food. SYN: speech and language pathologist.

speech therapy

The study, diagnosis, and treatment of defects and disorders of the voice and of spoken and written communication.


A slang term for a combination of cocaine and heroin taken intravenously.


1. Driving too fast for current road conditions. 2. Driving without regard for posted speed limits or the limited skills of the driver. Speeding increases the risk of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and death. It is hazardous both to the driver, the occupants of the vehicle, and to other motor vehicle operators.


(spē″lē-ŏ-ther′ă-pē) [L. speleum, fr. Gr. spēlaion, cave + therapy] Exposure within caves or salty underground environments to treat respiratory illnesses.

spend down, spend-down

The deliberate depletion of one's financial assets in order to meet the criteria for insurance support from Medicaid.

spent material

Any material that has been used in medical care (or other industries) and cannot be reused without reprocessing, reclamation, or decontamination.


(spĕrm) [Gr. sperma, seed] 1. Semen. 2. Spermatozoa. SEE: illus.






(spĕr′ mă) [Gr.] 1. Semen. 2. Spermatozoa.

sperma-, sperm-, spermi-, spermo-

[Gr. sperma, seed] Prefixes meaning seed, semen, sperm. SEE: spermato-.



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