furcula

noun

fur·​cu·​la ˈfər-kyə-lə How to pronounce furcula (audio)
plural furculae ˈfər-kyə-ˌlē How to pronounce furcula (audio)
-ˌlī
: a forked process or part: such as
a
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 Think of the furcula as similar to our collarbones, only the furcula is slightly more elastic. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Oct. 2023 To play the turkey wishbone game, two people think about a wish while each is pulling on opposite ends of the furcula. Karla Walsh, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Oct. 2023 The critter’s technique comes from two special body parts: an appendage called a furcula, which smacks the water to launch it into the air, and an abdominal tube known as a collophore, which holds a droplet of water to stabilize its flight and act as an anchor on its landing. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 Dec. 2022 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'furcula.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of furcula was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near furcula

Cite this Entry

“Furcula.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/furcula. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

furcula

noun
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)
: an elevation on the embryonic floor of the pharynx from which the epiglottis develops
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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