appendix

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See also: Appendix
For Wiktionary's appendices, see Appendix:Contents

English[edit]

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Intestinal tract, with the vermiform appendix highlighted.

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from Latin appendix.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

appendix (plural appendices or appendixes)

  1. (obsolete in general sense) Something attached to something else; an attachment or accompaniment.
    • 1621, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy, Oxford: Printed by Iohn Lichfield and Iames Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 216894069:, vol.I, New York 2001, p.244:
      idleness is an appendix to nobility; they count it a disgrace to work, and spend all their days in sports, recreations, and pastimes […].
  2. Specifically, a text added to the end of a book or an article, containing information that is important to but is not the main idea of the main text.
  3. (anatomy) The vermiform appendix, an inner organ that can become inflamed.

Usage notes[edit]

Despite widespread notions that the label of "incorrect" can be applied to either appendixes or appendices in any sense of the word (such as book appendixes or anatomic appendixes), major dictionaries and usage guides show that either plural form is acceptable, and that although the naturalized English regular form, appendixes, is more often prescribed to be preferable, the English irregular form (that is, the Latin regular as loanword), appendices, appears more often in published books; and no basis is given for any of the prescriptions, which are widely contradicted anyway. In short, unlike with many prescriptive-descriptive differences where one option can objectively be said to have a wide consensus of being preferable among careful or defensive writers although the other is not incorrect, in this instance there is very little basis for even asserting any consensus preference at all, given the collation that follows. What can be said with certainty is all of the following: some people use the Latin inflection because they think it is necessary; some other people use the Latin inflection because they don't want to appear ignorant to anyone who holds that misapprehension; some confidently use the English regular inflection because they know it is not wrong and is even preferred by "some people"; many people aren't sure whether one is better than the other, but they feel some degree of need to find out, so as not to appear ignorant to any of their readers; many other people both aren't sure and don't much care anyway; and readers of this entry should come away understanding that the last-mentioned group's approach is validated.

Dictionary or usage guide Entry Notes
Merriam-Webster Unabridged online "appendixes or appendices" No other qualification
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary online "appendixes or appendices" No other qualification
Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary online "appendixes or appendices" No other qualification
Stedman's Medical Dictionary online "appendixes or appendices" No other qualification
Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 32nd edition "appendixes or appendices" No other qualification
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language online "appendices or appendixes" No other qualification
Garner's Modern English Usage, fourth edition "appendixes; appendices" "Both are correct plural forms for appendix, but appendixes is preferable outside scientific contexts […] Nevertheless, the nonnative plural is more frequent [per Google Books Ngram data] by a 3-to-1 margin."
OxfordDictionaries.com, UK subset "appendixes or appendices" "Appendix typically has the plural appendixes in the anatomical sense, and appendices when referring to a part of a book or document."

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Latin[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From appendō (hang upon).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

appendix f (genitive appendicis); third declension

  1. supplement, addition
  2. appendage
  3. barberry (shrub)

Inflection[edit]

Third declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative appendix appendicēs
genitive appendicis appendicum
dative appendicī appendicibus
accusative appendicem appendicēs
ablative appendice appendicibus
vocative appendix appendicēs

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

References[edit]