Definition of ossicle in English:

ossicle

Line breaks: os|sicle
Pronunciation: /ˈɒsɪk(ə)l
 
/

noun

Anatomy & Zoology
  • 1A very small bone, especially one of those in the middle ear.
    More example sentences
    • Vibrations of the eardrum are then coupled by the middle ear ossicles, the three smallest bones in the body, to the fluid-filled cochlea.
    • Sound waves reaching the tympanic membrane will initiate vibrations that are transmitted through the bony ossicles of the middle ear to the oval window.
    • The middle ear ossicles and tympanic membrane remained intact, so sound stimulation could be applied to the preparation through a loudspeaker connected to the external ear canal.
  • 1.1 Zoology A small piece of calcified material forming part of the skeleton of an invertebrate animal such as an echinoderm.
    More example sentences
    • Most such particles are echinoderm stem ossicles, brachiopods, bryozoans or other corals.
    • The calcitic ossicles of crinoids, as is typical of echinoderms, form an internal skeleton that provides support and protection.
    • Calcareous ossicles make up the internal skeleton.

Origin

late 16th century: from Latin ossiculum, diminutive of os 'bone'.

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