• synonyms


[dawr-suh m]
noun, plural dor·sa [dawr-suh] /ˈdɔr sə/. Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. the back, as of the body.
  2. the back or outer surface of an organ, part, etc.
Show More

Origin of dorsum

Borrowed into English from Latin around 1775–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dorsum

Historical Examples

  • Addorsal: close to but not quite on the middle of the dorsum.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

    John. B. Smith

  • On the anterior part of the dorsum of one of the living spiders was the egg.


    George W. Peckham

  • The skin of the dorsum is thick and glandular, but not tuberculate.

  • In some individuals the dark reticulation on the dorsum is faint.

  • No spiracles are discernible on the dorsum of the eighth segment.

British Dictionary definitions for dorsum


noun plural -sa (-sə) anatomy
  1. a technical name for the back 1
  2. any analogous surfacethe dorsum of the hand
Show More

Word Origin

C18: from Latin, literally: back
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

dorsum in Medicine


n. pl. dor•sa (-sə)
  1. The back.
  2. The upper, outer surface of an organ, appendage, or part.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.