[uhm-bil-i-kuh s, uhm-buh-lahy-kuh s]

noun, plural um·bil·i·ci [uhm-bil-uh-sahy, uhm-buh-lahy-sahy] /ʌmˈbɪl əˌsaɪ, ˌʌm bəˈlaɪ saɪ/.

Anatomy. the depression in the center of the surface of the abdomen indicating the point of attachment of the umbilical cord to the embryo; navel.
Botany, Zoology. a navellike formation, as the hilum of a seed.

Origin of umbilicus

1605–15; < Latin umbilīcus navel, middle, center; see navel Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for umbilicus

Historical Examples of umbilicus

  • In this case the shell is said to be umbilicated, and the opening referred to is the umbilicus.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • The other (T. zizyphinus) is usually of a yellowish or pink colour and has no umbilicus.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • With umbilicus reaching to the apex; including Bifrontia and Orbis.

    A Conchological Manual

    George Brettingham Sowerby

  • When the coils of the shell are very compact there is no umbilicus to be seen.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • The umbilicus is partially closed by an entering callous plug.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

British Dictionary definitions for umbilicus


noun plural -bilici (-ˈbɪlɪˌsaɪ, -bɪˈlaɪsaɪ)

biology a hollow or navel-like structure, such as the cavity at the base of a gastropod shell
anatomy a technical name for the navel
Derived Formsumbiliform (ʌmˈbɪlɪˌfɔːm), adjective

Word Origin for umbilicus

C18: from Latin: navel, centre; compare Latin umbō shield boss, Greek omphalos navel
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 umbilicus

"navel," 1610s, from Latin umbilicus "navel," from PIE root *(o)nobh- "navel" (see navel). In English, mostly confined to medical writing. Latin umbilicus is source of Spanish ombligo as well as Old French lombril, literally "the navel," from l'ombril, which by dissimilation became modern Fr. nombril (12c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

umbilicus in Medicine


[ŭm-bĭlĭ-kəs, ŭm′bə-līkəs]

n. pl um•bil•i•ci (-sī′)

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