[mal-ee-uh s]

noun, plural mal·le·i [mal-ee-ahy] /ˈmæl iˌaɪ/. Anatomy.

the outermost of a chain of three small bones in the middle ear of mammals.Also called hammer.Compare incus(def 1), stapes.

Origin of malleus

1660–70; < Latin: hammer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Historical Examples of malleus

British Dictionary definitions for malleus


noun plural -lei (-lɪˌaɪ)

the outermost and largest of the three small bones in the middle ear of mammalsNontechnical name: hammer See also incus, stapes

Word Origin for malleus

C17: from Latin: hammer
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 malleus

ear bone, 1660s, from Latin malleus "a hammer" (see mallet). So called for its shape.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for malleus



n. pl. mal•le•i (mălē-ī′)

The hammer-shaped bone that is the outermost of the three auditory ossicles, articulating with the body of the incus.hammer
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for malleus



Plural mallei (mălē-ī′)

The hammer-shaped bone that is the largest and outermost of the three small bones (ossicles) in the middle ear.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.