• synonyms


[os-i-kuh l]
  1. a small bone.
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Origin of ossicle

1570–80; < Latin ossiculum, equivalent to ossi- (combining form of os) bone + -culum -cle1
Related formsos·sic·u·lar [o-sik-yuh-ler] /ɒˈsɪk yə lər/, os·sic·u·late [o-sik-yuh-lit] /ɒˈsɪk yə lɪt/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ossicle

Historical Examples

  • A vertical section of an ossicle presents exactly the same features as the horizontal section now described.

    Through the Heart of Patagonia

    H. Hesketh Prichard

British Dictionary definitions for ossicle


  1. a small bone, esp one of those in the middle ear
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Derived Formsossicular (ɒˈsɪkjʊlə), adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Latin ossiculum, from os bone
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 ossicle


1570s, from Latin ossiculum, diminutive of os "bone" (see osseous).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ossicle in Medicine


  1. A small bone, especially one of the three bones of the middle ear that are articulated in a manner that forms a chain for transmitting sound from the tympanic membrane to the oval window.bonelet
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Related formsos•sicu•lar (ŏ-sĭkyə-lər) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ossicle in Science


  1. A small bone, especially one of the three located in the middle ear (the incus, malleus, and stapes) that transmit sound vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.