[sur-kuh s, ker-]

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
Related formscer·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for cerci


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

cerci in Medicine



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.