[ sur-kuhs, ker- ]
/ ˈsɜr kəs, ˈkɛr- /
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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.
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Origin of cercus
1820–30; <New Latin <Greek kérkos tail
OTHER WORDS FROM cercuscercal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cercus in a sentence
There are five pairs of biramous appendages belonging to this shield, and behind these a pair of jointed cerci.
The cerci appear to have been long, slender, very spinose organs much like the antennules, but stiff rather than flexible.
The caudal cerci are richly segmented, slightly flexible, spinous tactile organs.
I would say that I have no doubt that the cerci of insects are directly inherited from the insect ancestors.
Cercopoda: jointed foot-like appendages of the last abdominal segment; also applied like cerci.Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology|John. B. Smith
British Dictionary definitions for cercus
/ (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