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[sur-kuh s, ker-] /ˈsɜr kəs, ˈkɛr-/
noun, plural cerci
[sur-sahy, ker-kee] /ˈsɜr saɪ, ˈkɛr ki/ (Show IPA)
one of a pair of appendages at the rear of the abdomen of certain insects and other arthropods, serving as tactile organs.
Origin of cercus
1820-30; < New Latin < Greek kérkos tail
Related forms
cercal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for cercus


noun (pl) -ci (-siː)
one of a pair of sensory appendages at the tip of the abdomen of some insects and other arthropods
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from Greek kerkos tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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cercus in Medicine

cercus cer·cus (sûr'kəs)
n. pl. cer·ci (sûr'sī, -kī)

  1. A stiff hairlike structure.

  2. Either of a pair of terminal, dorsolateral sensory appendages of certain insects, such as the female mosquito.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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