Origin of xyster

< New Latin < Greek xystḗr scraping tool, equivalent to xys- (stem of xýein to scrape) + -tēr instrumental noun suffix
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British Dictionary definitions for xyster


  1. a surgical instrument for scraping bone; surgical rasp or file

Word Origin for xyster

C17: via New Latin from Greek: tool for scraping, from xuein to scrape, make smooth
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 xyster

"surgical instrument for scraping bones," 1680s, from Greek xyster, from xyein "to scrape," from PIE root *kes- (1) "to scrape."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

xyster in Medicine


  1. A surgical instrument for scraping bones.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.