AskDefine | Define gonads

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. plural of gonad
  2. testicles

Extensive Definition

The gonad is the organ that makes gametes. The gonads in males are the testes and the gonads in females are the ovaries. The product, gametes, are haploid germ cells. For example, spermatozoon and egg cells are gametes. Although medically the gonad term can refer to either male gonads (testicles) or female gonads (ovaries), the vernacular, or slang use of "gonads" (or "nads") usually only refers to the testicles.


In addition to producing gametes, the gonads are a combined glands providing both exocrine and endocrine functions. The male and female gonads produce steroid sex hormones, identical to those producted by adrenal cortical cells. The major distinction is the source and relative amounts produced.


The male gonads, known as the testes or testicles, secrete a class of hormones called androgens, and produce spermatozoa. The predominant androgen in males is testosterone.


The gonads are controlled hormonally by luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. The anterior pituitary gland's excretion of LH and FSH are, in turn, controlled by the hypothalamus' gonadotropin-releasing hormone.


Gonads start developing as a common anlage, in the form of gonadal ridges, and only later are differentiated to male or female sex organs. The SRY gene, located on the Y chromosome and encoding the testis determining factor, decides the direction of this differentiation.
In 1943, Matthew Browne started a development of gonads in a part of the development of the urinary and reproductive organs.
gonads in Catalan: Gònada
gonads in Danish: Gonade
gonads in German: Gonade
gonads in Estonian: Sugunääre
gonads in Spanish: Gónada
gonads in French: Gonade
gonads in Ido: Gonado
gonads in Italian: Gonadi
gonads in Lithuanian: Lytinė liauka
gonads in Macedonian: Гонада
gonads in Dutch: Gonade
gonads in Polish: Gonada
gonads in Portuguese: Gónada
gonads in Russian: Гонада
gonads in Simple English: Gonad
gonads in Slovenian: Spolna žleza
gonads in Finnish: Sukupuolirauhaset
gonads in Swedish: Könskörtel
gonads in Thai: ต่อมบ่งเพศ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

bag, ballocks, balls, basket, beard, breasts, cervix, clitoris, cod, cods, cullions, family jewels, female organs, genitalia, genitals, labia, labia majora, labia minora, lingam, lips, male organs, meat, nuts, nymphae, ovary, penis, phallus, private parts, privates, privy parts, pubic hair, pudenda, reproductive organs, rocks, scrotum, secondary sex characteristic, sex organs, spermary, testes, testicles, uterus, vagina, vulva, womb, yoni
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