ossicle

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Late 16th century from Latin ossiculum (little bone, ossicle) from os (bone).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

ossicle (plural ossicles)

  1. (anatomy) A small bone (or bony structure), especially one of the three of the middle ear.
    The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles.
    • 1836, William Buckland, Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, vol. 1, William Pickering, p. 174:
      The eyeballs were surrounded by a ring of bones, the sclerotic ossicle, which probably protected their eyes when diving abruptly for prey.
  2. (zoology) Bone-like joint or plate, especially:
    1. one of numerous small calcareous structures forming the skeleton of certain echinoderms, as the starfishes;
    2. one of the hard articuli or joints of the stem or branches of a crinoid or encrinite;
    3. one of the several small hard chitinous parts or processes of the gastric skeleton of crustaceans, as in the stomach of a lobster or crawfish.
    4. The skeleton of echinoderms is made of ossicles, linked to each other via muscles and connective tissue.

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Related terms[edit]

See os.

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Catalan[edit]

Noun[edit]

ossicle m (plural ossicles)

  1. ossicle (small bone)