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[lan-sit, lahn-] /ˈlæn sɪt, ˈlɑn-/
a small surgical instrument, usually sharp-pointed and two-edged, for making small incisions, opening abscesses, etc.
  1. a lancet arch.
  2. a lancet window.
Origin of lancet
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English lancette < Middle French. See lance1, -et Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for lancet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • lancet windows: high, narrow windows of the earliest Gothic architecture.

    Tom Brown at Rugby Thomas Hughes
  • This same view was given in his Fifty-fifth Lecture, published in the "lancet" in 1834.

    On the Origin of Species Charles Darwin
  • But sickness and the lancet make one very tolerant of sermonizing.

    St. Ronan's Well Sir Walter Scott
  • He took a lancet from his pocket and opened a vein in the arm.

    A Girl of the Commune George Alfred Henty
  • The lancet simile was not original, but one that he had heard somewhere.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
British Dictionary definitions for lancet


Also called lance. a pointed surgical knife with two sharp edges
Word Origin
C15 lancette, from Old French: small lance
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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Word Origin and History for lancet

late 14c., launcet, from Old French lancette "small lance" (12c.), diminutive of lance (see lance (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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lancet in Medicine

lancet lan·cet (lān'sĭt)
A surgical knife with a short, wide, pointed double-edged blade, used especially for making punctures and small incisions. Also called lance.

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