[ spahy-kuh ]
/ ˈspaɪ kə /

noun, plural spi·cae [spahy-see] /ˈspaɪ si/, spi·cas for 1, 2.

a type of bandage in the shape of a figure eight, extending from an extremity to the trunk.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a first-magnitude star in the constellation Virgo.

Nearby words

  1. sphynx,
  2. sphyrectomy,
  3. sphyrotomy,
  4. spic,
  5. spic-and-span,
  6. spica bandage,
  7. spicate,
  8. spiccato,
  9. spice,
  10. spice islands

Origin of spica

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin spīca literally, ear of grain; cf. spike2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for spica

British Dictionary definitions for spica


/ (ˈspaɪkə) /

noun plural -cae (-siː) or -cas

med a spiral bandage formed by a series of overlapping figure-of-eight turns
botany another word for spike 2 (def. 1)

Word Origin for spica

C15: from Latin: ear of corn


/ (ˈspiːkə) /


the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Distance: 260 light years
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 spica



1728, bright star in constellation Virgo, from Latin, literally "ear of grain," corresponding to Greek stakhys (see spike (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for spica


[ spīkə ]

A bright bluish-white binary star in the constellation Virgo, with an apparent magnitude of 0.96. Scientific name: Alpha Virginis.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.