• synonyms


[der-mat-uh-glif-iks, dur-muh-tuh-]
  1. (used with a plural verb) the patterns of ridges on the inner surface of the hands and feet.
  2. (used with a singular verb) the science dealing with the study of these patterns.
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Origin of dermatoglyphics

1925–30; dermato- + Greek glýph(ein) to carve + -ics
Related formsder·mat·o·glyph·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for dermatoglyphics


pl n
  1. the lines forming a skin pattern, esp on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet
  2. (functioning as singular) the study of such skin patterns
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Word Origin

C20: from dermato- + Greek gluphē a carving; see glyph
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

dermatoglyphics in Medicine


  1. The patterns of lines and ridges on the skin of the fingertips, palms, and soles, used to establish the identity of individuals or as an indicator of chromosomal abnormalities.
  2. The study of such patterns.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.