tenaculum

noun

te·​nac·​u·​lum tə-ˈna-kyə-ləm How to pronounce tenaculum (audio)
plural tenacula tə-ˈna-kyə-lə How to pronounce tenaculum (audio) or tenaculums
1
: a slender sharp-pointed hook attached to a handle and used mainly in surgery for seizing and holding parts (such as arteries)
2
: an adhesive animal structure

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But another study of 1,353 people, cited in that same ACOG paper, found that local anesthesia did help reduce pain when the clinician was using the tenaculum and inserting the IUD. Jessica Toscano, SELF, 26 Apr. 2022

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

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Medieval Latin tenāculum (usually in plural tenācula) "forceps, pincers," going back to Latin, "instrument for gripping," from tenēre "to hold, occupy, possess" + -āculum, probably after retināculum "rope, cable" — more at tenant entry 1, retinaculum

First Known Use

circa 1693, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tenaculum was circa 1693

Dictionary Entries Near tenaculum

Cite this Entry

“Tenaculum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenaculum. Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

Medical Definition

tenaculum

noun
te·​nac·​u·​lum tə-ˈnak-yə-ləm How to pronounce tenaculum (audio)
plural tenacula -ˌlə How to pronounce tenaculum (audio) or tenaculums
: a slender sharp-pointed hook attached to a handle and used mainly in surgery for seizing and holding parts (as arteries)
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