Definition of somite in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsōmīt/


Each of a number of body segments containing the same internal structures, clearly visible in invertebrates such as earthworms but also present in the embryonic stages of vertebrates. Also called metamere.
Example sentences
  • This takes the vertebrate embryo up to the stage at which it has become recognizably vertebrate, with somites, notochord, and neural tube.
  • If male abdomina are preserved, the fusion of the somites is also diagnostic; pseudoziids exhibit no fusion of somites while carpiliids have somites 3-5 fused.
  • The basis for the confusion arises from the visible suture between somites 4 and 5, which suggests that the fusion is not complete.


Mid 19th century: from Greek sōma 'body' + -ite1.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: so·mite

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