os·​si·​cle | \ ˈä-si-kəl How to pronounce ossicle (audio) \

Definition of ossicle

: a small bone or bony structure (such as the malleus, incus, or stapes)

Other Words from ossicle

ossicular \ ä-​ˈsi-​kyə-​lər How to pronounce ossicle (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ossicle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In some sense, the emergence of the ossicle may have increased the odds of our being here. Jim Daley, Scientific American, 5 Dec. 2019 Without ossicles, ancient mammals might have been merely dinner for larger predators—or died off from starvation—rather than becoming our distant ancestors. Jim Daley, Scientific American, 5 Dec. 2019 Once your eardrum starts vibrating, the ossicles in your middle ear start vibrating, too. Amber Brenza, SELF, 4 Feb. 2018 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 The other bore tooth-like protuberances, called ossicles, above speckled reddish black skin. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 4 Nov. 2017

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

First Known Use of ossicle

1578, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ossicle

Latin ossiculum, diminutive of oss-, os

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Time Traveler for ossicle

Time Traveler

The first known use of ossicle was in 1578

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Cite this Entry

“Ossicle.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ossicle. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ossicle


os·​si·​cle | \ ˈäs-i-kəl How to pronounce ossicle (audio) \

Medical Definition of ossicle

: a small bone or bony structure especially : any of three small bones of the middle ear including the malleus, incus, and stapes

Other Words from ossicle

ossicular \ ä-​ˈsik-​yə-​lər How to pronounce ossicle (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on ossicle

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ossicle


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