Definition of caduceus in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈd(y)o͞oSH(ē)əs/
Pronunciation: /kəˈd(y)o͞osēəs/

noun (plural caducei /-sēˌī/ /-SHēˌī/)

Image of caduceus
1An ancient Greek or Roman herald’s wand, typically one with two serpents twined around it, carried by the messenger god Hermes or Mercury.
Example sentences
  • The drone is the idea of sound underneath the appearances, the dark emptiness that groans out of the fault, the opening, that the poet, now the mature, oracular Nobel Laureate, approaches with his caduceus.
  • Nearly all his works are signed with a caduceus (a herald's staff).
  • He looked up at the jamb and saw the caduceus, the serpent curled around a sword, and realized this was the firewall between the medical computer and the rest of the ship's systems.
1.1A representation of this, traditionally associated with healing.
Example sentences
  • A somewhat similar symbol, the caduceus, a winged staff with two twined serpents, is frequently but incorrectly used as a medical emblem.
  • Only fragments of these stoves survive, including the tile in Plate I, from a stove he made for a doctor's house in Guebwiller, as the decorative caduceus indicates.
  • Fifty years have passed since Watson and Crick discovered the structure of DNA, and the double helix has replaced the caduceus as the symbol of scientific and medical progress.


Latin, from Doric Greek karukeion, from Greek kērux 'herald'.

Words that rhyme with caduceus


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ca·du·ce·us

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