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 tailRelated formscer·cal, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for cerci
Historical Examples of cerci
Fighting between sexually excited males resulted in injury to their legs, wings, cerci, and other parts of the body.
Some of these males attacked other males and a female that were introduced, by biting their legs and cerci.
Cercopoda: jointed foot-like appendages of the last abdominal segment; also applied like cerci.
The carabid larva is an active well-armoured grub with the legs and cerci variable in length.
The cerci appear to have been long, slender, very spinose organs much like the antennules, but stiff rather than flexible.
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
n. pl. cer•ci (sûr′sī, -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.