occiput

noun
oc·​ci·​put | \ ˈäk-sə-(ˌ)pət How to pronounce occiput (audio) \
plural occiputs or occipita\ äk-​ˈsi-​pə-​tə How to pronounce occiput (audio) \

Definition of occiput

: the back part of the head or skull

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Occiput came to English from Latin, where it was created from ob-, meaning "against," and "capit-" or caput, meaning "head." Its adjectival form, occipital, meaning "of, relating to, or located within or near the occiput or the occipital bone," abounds in medical texts but is found in literary ones too, as in George Eliot's description of the coiffure of the "young ladies who frizzed their hair, and gathered it all into large barricades in front of their heads, leaving their occipital region exposed without ornament, as if that, being a back view, was of no consequence…" in Scenes of Clerical Life. Another "caput" derivation is "sinciput," a word used to refer to either the forehead or the upper half of the skull.

First Known Use of occiput

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for occiput

Middle English, from Latin occipit-, occiput, from ob- against + capit-, caput head — more at ob-, head

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The first known use of occiput was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near occiput

occipitoparietal index

occiput

occision

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Cite this Entry

“Occiput.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occiput. Accessed 4 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for occiput

occiput

noun
oc·​ci·​put | \ ˈäk-sə-(ˌ)pət How to pronounce occiput (audio) \
plural occiputs or occipita\ äk-​ˈsip-​ət-​ə How to pronounce occiput (audio) \

Medical Definition of occiput

: the back part of the head or skull

More from Merriam-Webster on occiput

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occiput

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about occiput

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