cercus

noun

cer·​cus ˈsər-kəs How to pronounce cercus (audio)
plural cerci ˈsər-ˌsī How to pronounce cercus (audio)
-ˌkī
: either of a pair of simple or segmented appendages at the posterior end of various arthropods that usually act as sensory organs

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Greek kerkos

First Known Use

1826, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cercus was in 1826

Dictionary Entries Near cercus

Cite this Entry

“Cercus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cercus. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

cercus

noun
cer·​cus ˈsər-kəs How to pronounce cercus (audio)
plural cerci ˈsər-ˌsī How to pronounce cercus (audio)
: a thin many-jointed part of an insect that sticks out from the hind end of its body

Medical Definition

cercus

noun
cer·​cus ˈsər-kəs How to pronounce cercus (audio)
plural cerci ˈsər-ˌsī, -ˌkī How to pronounce cercus (audio)
: either of a pair of simple or segmented appendages at the posterior end of various arthropods

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