Medical Dictionary

staff of Aesculapius

noun staff of Aes·cu·la·pi·us \-ˌes-kyə-ˈlā-pē-əs\

Medical Definition of staff of Aesculapius

  1. :  a conventionalized representation of a staff branched at the top with a single snake twined around it that is used as a symbol of medicine and as the official insignia of the American Medical Association—called also Aesculapian staff; compare caduceus a

Biographical Note for staff of aesculapius




\as-ˈklē-pē-əs\play ,, mythological character. Aesculapius was the god of medicine in Greek and Roman mythology. Snakes were the god's sacred emblems, and the god was believed to be incarnate in them. According to myth, the chief god Zeus struck him with a lightning bolt for daring to bring the dead back to life.

Illustration of staff of aesculapius

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up staff of Aesculapius? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to search out and expose misconduct

Get Word of the Day daily email!