ascus

noun
as·cus | \ ˈas-kəs \
plural asci\ˈas-ˌkī, -ˌkē, ˈa-ˌsī \

Definition of ascus 

: the membranous oval or tubular spore case of an ascomycete

First Known Use of ascus

1828, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ascus

New Latin, from Greek askos wineskin, bladder

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ascus

Statistics for ascus

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ascus

The first known use of ascus was in 1828

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ascus

ascus

noun
as·cus | \ ˈas-kəs \
plural asci\ˈas-ˌ(k)ī, -ˌkē \

Medical Definition of ascus 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the membranous oval or tubular sporangium of an ascomycete

ASCUS

abbreviation
variants: also AS-CUS

Medical Definition of ASCUS (Entry 2 of 2)

atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance

Note: ASCUS is a diagnosis used in cytology to describe the presence of abnormal squamous cells in a Pap smear test. Upon staining, these cells exhibit an atypical appearance (as enlarged nuclei or irregular shape) that cannot definitively be classified as benign or precancerous.

Many physicians believe that combining the Pap test with direct virus testing may prove particularly useful when a pap test comes back with its most common indeterminate result, called ASCUS—atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance. —Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, 13 Sept. 1999 Currently, there is no consensus on what to do with ASCUS patients, only 5% to 10% of whom actually have precancerous cells. —Rita Rubin, USA Today, 21 Feb. 2001

More from Merriam-Webster on ascus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ascus

Comments on ascus

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characteristic trappings or dress

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!