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[hip-uh-kam-puh s] /ˌhɪp əˈkæm pəs/
noun, plural hippocampi
[hip-uh-kam-pahy, -pee] /ˌhɪp əˈkæm paɪ, -pi/ (Show IPA)
Classical Mythology. a sea horse with two forefeet, and a body ending in the tail of a dolphin or fish.
Anatomy. an enfolding of cerebral cortex into the lateral fissure of a cerebral hemisphere, having the shape in cross section of a sea horse.
Origin of hippocampus
1600-10; < Latin < Greek hippókampos, equivalent to hippo- hippo- + kámpos sea monster Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for hippocampi


noun (pl) -pi (-paɪ)
a mythological sea creature with the forelegs of a horse and the tail of a fish
any marine teleost fish of the genus Hippocampus, having a horselike head See sea horse
an area of cerebral cortex that forms a ridge in the floor of the lateral ventricle of the brain, which in cross section has the shape of a sea horse. It functions as part of the limbic system
Derived Forms
hippocampal, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin, from Greek hippos horse + kampos a sea monster
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for hippocampi



c.1600, a kind of sea monster, part horse and part dolphin or fish (they are often pictured pulling Neptune's chariot), from Late Latin hippocampus, from Greek hippokampos, from hippos "horse" + kampos "a sea monster," perhaps related to kampe "caterpillar." Used from 1570s as a name of a type of fish; of a part of the brain from 1706, on supposed resemblance to the fish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hippocampi in Medicine

hippocampus hip·po·cam·pus (hĭp'ə-kām'pəs)
n. pl hip·po·cam·pi (-pī')
The complex, internally convoluted structure that forms the medial margin of the cortical mantle of the cerebral hemisphere, borders the choroid fissure of the lateral ventricle, is composed of two gyri with their white matter, and forms part of the limbic system.

hip'po·cam'pal (-pəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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hippocampi in Science
Plural hippocampi (hĭp'ə-kām'pī')
A convoluted, seahorse-shaped structure in the cerebral cortex of the temporal lobe of the brain, composed of two gyri with white matter above gray matter. It forms part of the limbic system and is involved in the processing of emotions and memory.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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