Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[tuh-nak-yuh-luh m] /təˈnæk yə ləm/
noun, plural tenacula
[tuh-nak-yuh-luh] /təˈnæk yə lə/ (Show IPA)
Surgery. a small sharp-pointed hook set in a handle, used for seizing and picking up parts in operations and dissections.
Entomology. a clasplike appendage on the abdomen of a springtail, which holds the springing device in place.
Origin of tenaculum
1685-95; < Latin tenāculum instrument for gripping, equivalent to ten(ēre) to hold + -ā- (from v. stems ending in -ā-; see gubernaculum) + -culum -cule2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for tenaculum
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for tenaculum


noun (pl) -la (-lə)
a surgical or dissecting instrument for grasping and holding parts, consisting of a slender hook mounted in a handle
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin, from Latin tenēre to hold
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
Cite This Source
tenaculum in Medicine

tenaculum te·nac·u·lum (tə-nāk'yə-ləm)
n. pl. te·nac·u·la (-lə)
A long-handled, slender, hooked instrument for lifting and holding parts, such as blood vessels, during surgery.

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

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tenaculum

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tenaculum

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tenaculum