[ 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
Words nearby cercus
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
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
Medical definitions for cercus
[ sûr′kəs ]
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.