fur·​cu·​la | \ ˈfər-kyə-lə How to pronounce furcula (audio) \
plural furculae\ ˈfər-​kyə-​ˌlē How to pronounce furcula (audio) , -​ˌlī \

Definition of furcula

: a forked process or part: such as
a : wishbone
b : the forked leaping appendage arising from the fourth abdominal segment of a springtail

Examples of furcula in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Thanksgiving, the furcula is much sought-after to make a wish. Sue Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 25 Nov. 2021 Technically it's called the furcula and acts to strengthen the thoracic skeleton, supporting the wing strut. Sue Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 25 Nov. 2021 Thanks to the discovery of his furcula, or wishbone, scientists have learned more about dinosaurs' relationship to birds. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Oct. 2020

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

First Known Use of furcula

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for furcula

New Latin, from Latin, forked prop, diminutive of furca

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The first known use of furcula was in 1859

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Cite this Entry

“Furcula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/furcula. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for furcula


fur·​cu·​la | \ ˈfər-kyə-lə How to pronounce furcula (audio) \
plural furculae\ -​ˌlē How to pronounce furcula (audio) , -​ˌlī How to pronounce furcula (audio) \

Medical Definition of furcula

: an elevation on the embryonic floor of the pharynx from which the epiglottis develops


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