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  1. Anatomy, Zoology. sword-shaped; ensiform.
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  1. the xiphisternum.
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Origin of xiphoid

1740–50; < New Latin xiphoīdēs < Greek xiphoeidḗs swordlike, equivalent to xíph(os) sword + -oeidēs -oid
Related formspost·xiph·oid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for xiphoid

Historical Examples

  • It is usually accompanied with painful sensations near the xiphoid cartilage or behind the sternum, or sometimes in the pharynx.

    A System of Practical Medicine By American Authors, Vol. II


  • The xiphoid appendix, which is cartilaginous, is attached to the extremity of a long process of the last bone of the sternum.

  • The xiphoid cartilage is extraordinarily elongated into thin strips, which reach the pelvis and return.

  • Two little girls were united from the xiphoid cartilage to the umbilicus.

    Curiosities of Medical Experience

    J. G. (John Gideon) Millingen

British Dictionary definitions for xiphoid


  1. biology shaped like a sword
  2. of or relating to the xiphisternum
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  1. Also called: xiphoid process Another name for xiphisternum
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Word Origin

C18: from New Latin, from Greek, from xiphos sword + eidos form
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

Word Origin and History for xiphoid


1851, from xiphias "swordfish" + -oid.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

xiphoid in Medicine


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