1. any of the longitudinal series of segments or parts into which the body of certain animals is divided; a metamere.
  2. Embryology. one member of a series of paired segments into which the thickened dorsal zone of mesoderm is divided.

Origin of somite

First recorded in 1865–70; som(a)1 + -ite1
Related formsso·mi·tal [soh-mi-tl] /ˈsoʊ mɪ tl/, so·mit·ic [soh-mit-ik] /soʊˈmɪt ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for somite

Historical Examples of somite

British Dictionary definitions for somite


  1. embryol any of a series of dorsal paired segments of mesoderm occurring along the notochord in vertebrate embryos. It develops into muscle and bone in the adult animal
  2. zoology another name for metamere
Derived Formssomital (ˈsəʊmɪtəl) or somitic (səʊˈmɪtɪk), adjective

Word Origin for somite

C19: from Greek sōma a body
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

somite in Medicine


  1. A segmental mass of mesoderm in the vertebrate embryo, occurring in pairs along the notochord and developing into muscles and vertebrae.
  2. metamere
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.