Pronunciation: (stig'mu), [key]
—pl. stig•ma•taPronunciation: (stig'mu-tu, stig-mä'tu, -mat'u), [key] stig•mas.
1. a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach, as on one's reputation.
a. a mental or physical mark that is characteristic of a defect or disease: the stigmata of leprosy.
b. a place or point on the skin that bleeds during certain mental states, as in hysteria.
a. a small mark, spot, or pore on an animal or organ.
b. the eyespot of a protozoan.
c. an entrance into the respiratory system of insects.
4. Bot.the part of a pistil that receives the pollen. See diag. under flower.
5. stigmata,marks resembling the wounds of the crucified body of Christ, said to be supernaturally impressed on the bodies of certain persons, esp. nuns, tertiaries, and monastics.
6. Archaic.a mark made by a branding iron on the skin of a criminal or slave.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.