• synonyms


noun, plural fur·cu·lae [fur-kyuh-lee] /ˈfɜr kyəˌli/.
  1. the forked clavicular bone of a bird; wishbone.
  2. the ventral, forked appendage on the abdomen of a springtail that the insect uses in springing itself into the air.
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Origin of furcula

1855–60; < Latin: a forked prop. See fork, -ule
Related formsfur·cu·lar, adjective


[fur-kyuh-luh m]
noun, plural fur·cu·la [fur-kyuh-luh] /ˈfɜr kyə lə/.
  1. furcula.
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Origin of furculum

From New Latin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for furcula

Historical Examples of furcula

  • The furcula is large, and the scapula has a well developed acromion.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • Anatomically, this genus is remarkable in the parrot tribe for having no furcula, or merry-thought bone.

  • In Furcula, the outer margin of the band is generally sharply bent inward just below the costa.

    Butterflies and Moths

    William S. Furneaux

  • Mucrones: in Collembola the two small end pieces of the furcula, proceeding from the dentes.

  • The coracoids are large, and the clavicles are nearly always united forming the furcula.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for furcula


furculum (ˈfɜːkjʊləm)

noun plural -lae (-ˌliː) or -la (-lə)
  1. any forklike part or organ, esp the fused clavicles (wishbone) of birds
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Word Origin for furcula

C19: from Latin: a forked support for a wall, diminutive of furca fork
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