tec·​tum | \ ˈtek-təm How to pronounce tectum (audio) \
plural tecta\ ˈtek-​tə How to pronounce tectum (audio) \

Definition of tectum

: a bodily structure resembling or serving as a roof especially : the dorsal part of the midbrain

Other Words from tectum

tectal \ ˈtek-​tᵊl How to pronounce tectum (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tectum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And in the tectum, a brain region that processes images from the optic nerve, the neurons of salamanders were often strewn chaotically about—a trait seen in embryonic or larval brains—whereas in frogs, the neurons were nicely layered. Douglas Fox, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 The researchers also recorded activity from the ocular tectum, a brain area involved in basic visual processing in owls and many other vertebrates. Joanna Klein, New York Times, 3 July 2018

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

First Known Use of tectum

circa 1905, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tectum

New Latin, from Latin, roof, dwelling, from neuter of tectus, past participle of tegere to cover — more at thatch

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The first known use of tectum was circa 1905

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Cite this Entry

“Tectum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tectum. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for tectum


tec·​tum | \ ˈtek-təm How to pronounce tectum (audio) \
plural tecta\ -​tə How to pronounce tectum (audio) \

Medical Definition of tectum

1 : a bodily structure resembling or serving as a roof
2 : the dorsal part of the midbrain including the corpora quadrigemina

called also tectum mesencephali


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