a) A small bone (or bony structure), especially one of the three of the middle ear.

The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles.

b) Bone-like joint or plate, especially:

The eyeballs were surrounded by a ring of bones, the sclerotic ossicle, which probably protected their eyes when diving abruptly for prey.

Syn: auditory bone, auditory ossicle, bonelet, ossicular chain, ossicule, ossiculum, otic bone
See Also: os

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ossicle — Os si*cle, n. [L. ossiculum, dim. of os, ossis, a bone.] 1. A little bone; as, the auditory ossicles in the tympanum of the ear. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) One of numerous small calcareous structures forming the skeleton of certain echinoderms …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ossicle — 1570s, from L. ossiculum, dim. of os bone (see OSSEOUS (Cf. osseous)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ossicle — ► NOUN Anatomy ▪ a very small bone, especially one of those which transmit sounds within the middle ear. ORIGIN Latin ossiculum little bone …   English terms dictionary

  • ossicle — [äs′i kəl] n. [< L ossiculum, dim. of os, a bone: see OSSIFY] a small bone or bonelike structure; esp., any of the three small bones in the tympanic cavity of the ear ossicular [ä sik′yo͞o lər] adj. ossiculate [ä sik′yəlit, ä sik′yəlāt΄] …   English World dictionary

  • ossicle — noun Etymology: Latin ossiculum, diminutive of oss , os Date: 1578 a small bone or bony structure (as the malleus, incus, or stapes) • ossicular adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ossicle — small bone, e.g. Weberian ossicles, ossicles of Gemminger …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • ossicle — n. [L. dim. os, ossis, bone] 1. A small nodule of chitin that resembles bone. 2. (ARTHROPODA: Crustacea) Teeth and tooth like process in the gastric mill. 3. (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) For Diptera, see axillary sclerites. 4. (ECHINODERMATA) Plates,… …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • ossicle — ossicular /o sik yeuh leuhr/, ossiculate /o sik yeuh lit/, adj. /os i keuhl/, n. a small bone. [1570 80; < L ossiculum, equiv. to ossi (comb. form of os) bone + culum CLE1] * * * …   Universalium

  • Ossicle — Any small bone, such as the tiny bones within the human ear. * * * A small bone; specifically, one of the bones of the tympanic cavity or middle ear. SYN: ossiculum [TA], bonelet. [L. ossiculum, dim. of os, bone] Andernach ossicles SYN: sutural… …   Medical dictionary

  • ossicle — os·si·cle || É‘sɪkl / É’s n. small bone; one of the bones in the small bony structure in the human middle ear …   English contemporary dictionary

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