malleus

noun

mal·​le·​us ˈma-lē-əs How to pronounce malleus (audio)
plural mallei ˈma-lē-ˌī How to pronounce malleus (audio)
-lē-ˌē
: the outermost of a chain of three small bones of the mammalian middle ear

called also hammer

see ear illustration

Examples of malleus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web One bone becomes the malleus of the middle ear. David George Haskell, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 The stapes and malleus are tiny bones that transmit hearing through the inner ear. Christopher Linstrom, Discover Magazine, 31 Jan. 2011 Another becomes the incus bone that connects the malleus to the stapes. David George Haskell, Wired, 8 Mar. 2022 The smallest bones are inside your ear, and they are known as the hammer (malleus), stirrup (stapes), and anvil (incus). Jason Bittel, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2019 The auditory ossicles of the middle ear – the malleus, incus and stapes – are the tiniest bones in the human body. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, 18 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'malleus.' 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, hammer

First Known Use

1646, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of malleus was in 1646

Dictionary Entries Near malleus

Cite this Entry

“Malleus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/malleus. Accessed 20 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

malleus

noun
mal·​le·​us ˈmal-ē-əs How to pronounce malleus (audio)
plural mallei ˈmal-ē-ˌī How to pronounce malleus (audio)
-ē-ˌē
: the outermost bone of the three small bones of the middle ear of a mammal

Medical Definition

malleus

noun
mal·​le·​us ˈmal-ē-əs How to pronounce malleus (audio)
plural mallei -ē-ˌī How to pronounce malleus (audio) -ē-ˌē How to pronounce malleus (audio)
: the outermost of the chain of three ossicles in the middle ear of a mammal consisting of a head, neck, short process, long process, and handle with the short process and handle being fastened to the tympanic membrane and the head articulating with the head of the incus

called also hammer

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