occiput

noun oc·ci·put \ ˈäk-sə-(ˌ)pət \

Definition of occiput

plural occiputs or occipita play \äk-ˈsi-pə-tə\
: the back part of the head or skull

occiput was our Word of the Day on 06/16/2009. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of occiput

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


Medical Dictionary

occiput

noun oc·ci·put \ ˈäk-sə-(ˌ)pət \

medical Definition of occiput

plural occiputs or occipita play \äk-ˈsip-ət-ə\
: the back part of the head or skull

Learn More about occiput


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