[tuh-nak-yuh-luh m]

noun, plural te·nac·u·la [tuh-nak-yuh-luh] /təˈnæk yə lə/.

Surgery. a small sharp-pointed hook set in a handle, used for seizing and picking up parts in operations and dissections.
Entomology. a clasplike appendage on the abdomen of a springtail, which holds the springing device in place.

Nearby words

  1. tenable,
  2. tenace,
  3. tenacious,
  4. tenaciously,
  5. tenacity,
  6. tenaculum forceps,
  7. tenafly,
  8. tenaille,
  9. tenaim,
  10. tenalgia

Origin of tenaculum

1685–95; < Latin tenāculum instrument for gripping, equivalent to ten(ēre) to hold + -ā- (from v. stems ending in -ā-; see gubernaculum) + -culum -cule2

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

Examples from the Web for tenaculum

British Dictionary definitions for tenaculum


noun plural -la (-lə)

a surgical or dissecting instrument for grasping and holding parts, consisting of a slender hook mounted in a handle

Word Origin for tenaculum

C17: from Late Latin, from Latin tenēre to hold

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

Medicine definitions for tenaculum



n. pl. te•nac•u•la (-lə)

A long-handled, slender, hooked instrument for lifting and holding parts, such as blood vessels, during surgery.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.