petrous

adjective
pe·​trous | \ ˈpe-trəs How to pronounce petrous (audio) , ˈpē- How to pronounce petrous (audio) \

Definition of petrous

: of, relating to, or constituting the exceptionally hard and dense portion of the human temporal bone that contains the internal auditory organs

Examples of petrous in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But if there’s any hope of obtaining some, the sample would likely come from the teeth or petrous bone, since their extreme density protects DNA well. Christian Als, Smithsonian, "Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets," 29 May 2017 All of those came from the petrous part of the temporal bone, which is the tough part of the skull behind the ear, from five different individuals. Nicholas St. Fleur, New York Times, "Fate of Ancient Canaanites Seen in DNA Analysis: They Survived," 27 July 2017 DNA begins degrading immediately after death, so scientists look for pockets that tend to be preserved in hair, molar teeth, and the petrous bone near the inner ear. National Geographic, "These Famous People Were Dug Up After Death—Here's Why," 12 July 2017 But if there’s any hope of obtaining some, the sample would likely come from the teeth or petrous bone, since their extreme density protects DNA well. Christian Als, Smithsonian, "Europe’s Famed Bog Bodies Are Starting to Reveal Their Secrets," 2 May 2017

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

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First Known Use of petrous

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for petrous

Middle English petrouse, petrous, borrowed from Latin petrōsus "rocky, stony," from petra "rock" (borrowed from Greek pétra) + -ōsus -ous — more at petro-

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Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for petrous

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

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More Definitions for petrous

petrous

adjective
pe·​trous | \ ˈpe-trəs How to pronounce petrous (audio) , ˈpē- How to pronounce petrous (audio) \

Medical Definition of petrous

: of, relating to, or constituting the exceptionally hard and dense portion of the human temporal bone that contains the internal auditory organs and is a pyramidal process wedged in at the base of the skull between the sphenoid and occipital bones with its lower half exposed on the surface of the skull and pierced by the external auditory canal

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