[ sur-kuh s, ker- ]
/ ˈsɜr kəs, ˈkɛr- /

noun, plural cer·ci [sur-sahy, ker-kee] /ˈsɜr saɪ, ˈkɛr ki/.

one of a pair of appendages at the rear of the abdomen of certain insects and other arthropods, serving as tactile organs.

Origin of cercus

1820–30; < New Latin < Greek kérkos tail


cer·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for cercal (1 of 2)

/ (ˈsɜːkəl) /

adjective zoology

of or relating to a tail
of or relating to the cerci

British Dictionary definitions for cercal (2 of 2)

/ (ˈsɜːkəs) /

noun plural -ci (-siː)

one of a pair of sensory appendages at the tip of the abdomen of some insects and other arthropods

Word Origin for cercus

C19: from New Latin, from Greek kerkos tail
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

Medical definitions for cercal

[ sûrkəs ]

n. pl. cer•ci (sûrsī, -kī)

A stiff hairlike structure.
Either of a pair of terminal, dorsolateral sensory appendages of certain insects, such as the female mosquito.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.