Health Literacy Thesaurus: Medical terms, phrases, references,
and their Plain English equivalents or definitions

O (objective - overabundance)

Step 1: Click "Next" to show the term, phrase, or reference. Step 2: Click "Next" again
to show the Plain English equivalent or definition; Repeat Steps 1 and 2. (Best viewed on Firefox or Chrome)
objectivegoal, end
obscurehidden, unclear, blur, confuse
observationclose look, remark, watching, sighting
observelook closely, watch, see, detect, find, notice, see
obstructblock, stop
obstructionbarrier, block, hurdle
obviousclear, plain, easy to see
occasionallysometimes, not often, once in a while
occupationjob, work
occupational therapistsomeone who helps people who are sick or injured relearn everyday activities
occupational therapytherapy that helps you relearn everyday activities
occurhappen, take place, result
on an empty stomachdo not eat or drink
optic neuritiseye disease, disease of the eyes
optimalbest, best way
optionchoice, way
orchitisside effect of mumps
originatestart, begin, create
orthopedic surgeonbones and joint doctor
orthopedicsbones and joint doctor’s office
osteonecrosisbone death
osteoporosisosteoporosis, brittle bones
otitis mediamiddle ear infection
outbreakwhen a large number of people suddenly get sick; sudden increase in number of sicknesses
ova/ovumegg/eggs, a woman’s egg/eggs
overabundancetoo much, excess

Source: CDC Plain Language Thesaurus for Health Communications. Other related materials: Vaccines & Immunizations Glossary; Harvard School of Public Health "Plain Language Glossaries" for asthma, arthritis, and lupus; Medical Library Association "Deciphering Medspeak" for diabetes, stroke, and HIV-AIDS

Exercises created by Atty. Gerry T. Galacio; all rights reserved. You can freely use these exercises, but you must not upload them to any website or the cloud. For comments, questions, corrections, or suggestions, email


Exercises created with freeware Hot Potatoes v. 6.3 from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.


Family Matters (complete text of the Family Code of the Philippines; frequently asked questions; relevant laws like RA 9262; legal procedures and Rules of Court)


Legal Updates (in-depth discussions of issues affecting the Filipino family, legal procedures, support, inheritance, etc.): Plain Language / Plain English for government offices, private companies, schools, and organizations; Clear, concise English for effective legal writing; Legal procedures in civil and criminal cases; Heirs and inheritances

Better English resources and exercises (free resources on grammar, pronunciation, spelling, writing, vocabulary, idioms, reading comprehension, public speaking, etc.)


Be a better writer or editor through StyleWriter 4: this software checks 10,000 words in 12 seconds for hundreds of style and English usage issues like wordy and complex sentences, passive voice, nominalization, jargon, clichés, readability, spelling, etc. StyleWriter 4 has a graded 200,000 word and phrase dictionary, covering most of the words you will ever use in writing.


StyleWriter 4 is widely used in the US federal government (for example, Environmental Protection Agency). It is used in banks, law offices, and by professionals from various fields. It is fully customizable and comes with three versions: USA, UK, and Australian. StyleWriter 4 can edit memos, articles, essays, business letters, speeches, thesis, dissertations, books (fiction or non-fiction), and all kinds of corporate communications.