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In zoology, Chaetodon decussatus is a fish with decussate markings
In botany, Swertia decussata is a plant with decussate foliage


Borrowed from Latin dēcussō (arrange crosswise or mark with a cross), from decussis (a 10 asses coin), from decem (ten) + as (a Roman coin). Based on the cross marking on the decussis coin.



decussate (comparative more decussate, superlative most decussate)

  1. Crossed; intersected; resembling a letter X.
  2. (zoology) Having anatomical structures or markings crossing each other, typically in an X shape or at right angles.
  3. (botany) Having opposite leaves arranged alternately at right angles.
    • 1849, John Craig, “Juniperites”, in A New Universal Etymological, Technological, and Pronouncing Dictionary of the English Language, Embracing All the Terms Used in Art, Science, and Literature, volume II (Jac–Zyt), London: Published (for the proprietors,) by Henry George Collins, 22 Paternoster Row, OCLC 3119134, page 15:
      Juniperites, ju-ne-per-i′tis, s[ubstantive]. A genus of fossil plants, in which the branches are ranged irregularly; leaves short, obtuse, inserted by a broad base, opposite, decussate, and arranged in four rows.
  4. (rhetoric) Consisting of two rising and two falling clauses, placed in alternate opposition to each other.
    a decussated period


Derived terms[edit]


decussate (third-person singular simple present decussates, present participle decussating, simple past and past participle decussated)

  1. To form an X or to cross or intersect.
    • 1949, Herbert Eugene Walter & ‎Leonard Perkins Sayles, Biology of the Vertebrates:
      The two trochlears decussate in the anterior medullary velum.

Related terms[edit]




  1. feminine plural of decussato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of decussō