• synonyms


[verb dih-kuhs-eyt, dek-uh-seyt; adjective dih-kuhs-eyt, -it]
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verb (used with or without object), de·cus·sat·ed, de·cus·sat·ing.
  1. to cross in the form of an X; intersect.
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  1. in the form of an X; crossed; intersected.
  2. Botany. arranged along the stem in pairs, each pair at right angles to the pair next above or below, as leaves.
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Origin of decussate

1650–60; < Medieval Latin decussātus divided in the form of an X (past participle of decussāre), equivalent to Latin decuss(is) the numeral ten, orig., a ten-as weight (dec(em) ten + -ussis, combining form of as as2) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsde·cus·sate·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for decussate

Historical Examples

  • Decussate, arranged in pairs which successively cross each other, 71.

    The Elements of Botany

    Asa Gray

  • Thus, leaves normally opposite and decussate may, by fusion, become alternate.

    Vegetable Teratology

    Maxwell T. Masters

  • The remaining fibres pass down as the direct pyramidal tract, and decussate in the cord near their termination.

  • These are sometimes marked with a decussate cross, as was done to facilitate fracture during administration.

    The Catacombs of Rome

    William Henry Withrow

  • The whorls or pairs alternate or cross each other, usually at right angles, that is, they decussate.

British Dictionary definitions for decussate


verb (dɪˈkʌseɪt)
  1. to cross or cause to cross in the form of the letter X; intersect
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adjective (dɪˈkʌseɪt, dɪˈkʌsɪt)
  1. in the form of the letter X; crossed; intersected
  2. botany (esp of leaves) arranged in opposite pairs, with each pair at right angles to the one above and below it
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Derived Formsdecussately, adverbdecussation, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin decussāre, from decussis the number ten, from decem ten
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 decussate


1650s, from Latin decussatus, past participle of decussare "to divide crosswise, to cross in the form of an 'X,'" from decussis "the figure 'ten'" (in Roman numerals, represented by X) from decem "ten" (see ten). As an adjective, from 1825.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

decussate in Medicine


(dĭ-kŭsāt′, dĕkə-sāt′)
  1. To cross or become crossed so as to form an X; intersect.
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  1. Intersected or crossed in the form of an X.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.