• synonyms


[pek-tuh n]
noun, plural pec·tens, pec·ti·nes [pek-tuh-neez] /ˈpɛk təˌniz/.
  1. Zoology, Anatomy.
    1. a comblike part or process.
    2. a pigmented vascular membrane with parallel folds suggesting the teeth of a comb, projecting into the vitreous humor of the eye in birds and reptiles.
  2. any bivalve mollusk of the genus Pecten; scallop.
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Origin of pecten

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin pecten comb, rake, scallop, pubes, akin to pectere, Greek pékein to comb, card
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pecten

Historical Examples of pecten

  • Found on pecten shells, and abundant off the coast of Maine.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • The Scollop Shell (Pecten concentricus), used for card-racks and pin-cushions.

    Cape Cod

    Henry D. Thoreau

  • "Scallops of the lesser sort" are probably Pecten opercularius and P. varius.

  • On this day however a new structure appears, which remains permanently through life, and is known as the pecten.

  • The proximal part of the free edge of the pecten is somewhat swollen, and sections through this part have a club-shaped form.

British Dictionary definitions for pecten


noun plural -tens or -tines (-tɪˌniːz)
  1. a comblike structure in the eye of birds and reptiles, consisting of a network of blood vessels projecting inwards from the retina, which it is thought to supply with oxygen
  2. any other comblike part or organ
  3. any scallop of the genus Pecten, which swim by expelling water from their shell valves in a series of snapping motions
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Word Origin for pecten

C18: from Latin: a comb, from pectere, related to Greek pekein to comb
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

pecten in Medicine


n. pl. pec•tens
  1. A body structure or an organ resembling a comb.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.