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Late 16th century from Latin ossiculum (little bone, ossicle) from os (bone).



ossicle (plural ossicles)

  1. (anatomy) A small bone (or bony structure), especially one of the three of the middle ear.
    The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles.
    • 1836, William Buckland, Geology and Mineralogy, Considered with Reference to Natural Theology, vol. 1, William Pickering, p. 174:
      The eyeballs were surrounded by a ring of bones, the sclerotic ossicle, which probably protected their eyes when diving abruptly for prey.
  2. (zoology) Bone-like joint or plate, especially:
    1. one of numerous small calcareous structures forming the skeleton of certain echinoderms, as the starfishes;
    2. one of the hard articuli or joints of the stem or branches of a crinoid or encrinite;
    3. one of the several small hard chitinous parts or processes of the gastric skeleton of crustaceans, as in the stomach of a lobster or crawfish.
    4. The skeleton of echinoderms is made of ossicles, linked to each other via muscles and connective tissue.


  • auditory bone
  • auditory ossicle
  • bonelet
  • ossicular chain

Derived termsEdit

  • ambulacral ossicle
  • Andernach's ossicles
  • cardiac ossicle
  • carpal ossicle
  • epactal ossicles
  • episternal ossicles
  • intercalcar ossicles
  • Kerckring's (Kerkring's) ossicle
  • marginal ossicles
  • ossicle of Bertin
  • ossicular
  • ossiculate
  • ossiculectomy
  • ossiculotomy
  • Riolan's ossicles
  • sphenoturbinal ossicle
  • tarsal ossicle
  • vertebral ossicle
  • Weberian ossicles
  • wormian ossicles

Related termsEdit

See os.


See alsoEdit




ossicle m (plural ossicles)

  1. ossicle (small bone)
Last modified on 30 January 2014, at 22:46