scute

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English[edit]

Detail of an alligator foot, showing scutes

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin scutum (shield). Compare scutum, escudo, scudo, and écu.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

scute (plural scutes)

  1. (zoology) A horny, chitinous, or bony external plate or scale, as on the shell of a turtle or the skin of crocodiles.
    • 1982, TC Boyle, Water Music, Penguin 2006, p. 71:
      Then one afternoon, as he's stripping the scutes and hide from a shortnose sturgeon, an idea hits him.
  2. (genetics) A proneural gene, often associated with achaete, that is required for the formation of many larval and adult sense organs
  3. (obsolete) A small shield.
    • a. 1529, John Skelton, Why come ye not to Court
      yet they ouer ſhoote us
      With crownes and with ſcutus With Scutes and crownes
      I drede we are bought and ſolde
  4. (historical) An old French gold coin.

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