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[os-i-kuh l] /ˈɒs ɪ kəl/
a small bone.
Origin of ossicle
1570-80; < Latin ossiculum, equivalent to ossi- (combining form of os) bone + -culum -cle1
Related forms
[o-sik-yuh-ler] /ɒˈsɪk yə lər/ (Show IPA),
[o-sik-yuh-lit] /ɒˈsɪk yə lɪt/ (Show IPA),
adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for ossicle
Historical Examples
  • A vertical section of an ossicle presents exactly the same features as the horizontal section now described.

    Through the Heart of Patagonia H. Hesketh Prichard
British Dictionary definitions for ossicle


a small bone, esp one of those in the middle ear
Derived Forms
ossicular (ɒˈsɪkjʊlə) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ossiculum, from os bone
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 ossicle

1570s, from Latin ossiculum, diminutive of os "bone" (see osseous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ossicle in Medicine

ossicle os·si·cle (ŏs'ĭ-kəl)
A small bone, especially one of the three bones of the middle ear that are articulated in a manner that forms a chain for transmitting sound from the tympanic membrane to the oval window. Also called bonelet.

os·sic'u·lar (ŏ-sĭk'yə-lər) or os·sic'u·late (-lĭt) 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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ossicle in Science
A small bone, especially one of the three located in the middle ear (the incus, malleus, and stapes) that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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