dor·​sum | \ˈdȯr-səm \
plural dorsa\-​sə \

Definition of dorsum 

1 : the upper surface of an appendage or part

2 : back especially : the entire dorsal surface of an animal

Examples of dorsum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

To make his mate more receptive in between bouts, a male N. pilipes will spread silk over her dorsum, or back, in massage-like motions known as mate binding. National Geographic, "Bondage, Cannibalism, and Castration—Spiders' Wild Sex Lives," 14 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dorsum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dorsum

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dorsum


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The first known use of dorsum was in 1615

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More Definitions for dorsum


dor·​sum | \ˈdȯr-səm \
plural dorsa\-​sə \

Medical Definition of dorsum 

1 : the upper surface of an appendage or part

2 : back sense 1a especially : the entire dorsal surface of an animal

More from Merriam-Webster on dorsum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dorsum Encyclopedia article about dorsum

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