• synonyms


noun, plural coc·cy·ges [kok-sahy-jeez, kok-si-jeez] /kɒkˈsaɪ dʒiz, ˈkɒk sɪˌdʒiz/.
  1. a small triangular bone forming the lower extremity of the spinal column in humans, consisting of four ankylosed rudimentary vertebrae.
  2. a corresponding part in certain animals.
Show More

Origin of coccyx

1605–15; < New Latin < Greek kókkyx cuckoo, from its resemblance to a cuckoo's beak
Related formscoc·cyg·e·al [kok-sij-ee-uh l, -sij-uh l] /kɒkˈsɪdʒ i əl, -ˈsɪdʒ əl/, adjectivein·ter·coc·cyg·e·al, adjectivepre·coc·cyg·e·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coccygeal

Historical Examples

  • In the pig, and especially in the horse, it passes further upwards, to arise from the aponeurosis of the coccygeal muscles.

    Artistic Anatomy of Animals

    douard Cuyer

  • In the pig, it also takes origin higher up from the sacro-sciatic ligament and the coccygeal aponeurosis.

  • The number and size of the coccygeal vertebr vary, apparently in correlation with the increased size of the tail.

British Dictionary definitions for coccygeal


noun plural coccyges (kɒkˈsaɪdʒiːz)
  1. a small triangular bone at the end of the spinal column in man and some apes, representing a vestigial tail
Show More
Derived Formscoccygeal (kɒkˈsɪdʒɪəl), adjective

Word Origin

C17: from New Latin, from Greek kokkux cuckoo, of imitative origin; from the likeness of the bone to a cuckoo's beak
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

Word Origin and History for coccygeal



1610s, from Latin coccyx, from Greek kokkyx "cuckoo" (from kokku, like the bird's English name echoic of its cry), so called by ancient Greek physician Galen because the bone in humans supposedly resembles a cuckoo's beak.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

coccygeal in Medicine


  1. Relating to the coccyx.
Show More


n. pl. coc•cy•ges (kŏk-sījēz, kŏksĭ-jēz′)
  1. The small triangular bone located at the base of the spinal column, formed by the fusion of four rudimentary vertebrae, and articulating above with the sacrum.tailbone
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

coccygeal in Science


Plural coccyges (kŏk-sījēz, kŏksĭ-jēz′)
  1. A small triangular bone at the base of the spine in humans and apes. It is composed of several fused vertebrae. Also called tailbone
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.