caduceus


ca·du·ceus

noun \kə-ˈdü-sē-əs, -ˈdyü-, -shəs\
plural ca·du·cei\-sē-ˌī\

Definition of CADUCEUS

1
:  the symbolic staff of a herald; specifically :  a representation of a staff with two entwined snakes and two wings at the top
2
:  an insignia bearing a caduceus and symbolizing a physician

Illustration of CADUCEUS

Origin of CADUCEUS

Latin, modification of Greek karykeion, from karyx, kēryx herald; akin to Sanskrit kāru singer
First Known Use: 1577

ca·du·ceus

noun \kə-ˈd(y)ü-sē-əs, -shəs\   (Medical Dictionary)
plural ca·du·cei \-sē-ˌī\

Medical Definition of CADUCEUS

: a medical insignia bearing a representation of a staff with two entwined snakes and two wings at the top: a : one of the symbols of a physician—compare staff of aesculapius b : the emblem of a medical corps or a department of the armed services (as of the United States Army)

Illustration of CADUCEUS

caduceus

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Staff carried by Hermes as a symbol of peace. It served as a badge of protection for ancient Greek and Roman heralds and ambassadors. It was originally depicted as a rod or olive branch ending in two shoots and decorated with garlands or ribbons; in later iconography the garlands became two snakes and a pair of wings was attached to the staff to represent Hermes' speed. The caduceus was adopted as a symbol of physicians because of its similarity to the staff of Asclepius.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: caduciary
Previous Word in the Dictionary: caducean
All Words Near: caduceus

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up caduceus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More