fontanelle

fontanel

[fon-tn-el]
noun Anatomy.
one of the spaces, covered by membrane, between the bones of the fetal or young skull.
Also, fontanelle.


Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English fontinel < Middle French fontanele little spring, diminutive of fontaine fountain

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World English Dictionary
fontanelle or chiefly (US) fontanel (ˌfɒntəˈnɛl)
 
n
anatomy any of several soft membranous gaps between the bones of the skull in a fetus or infant
 
[C16 (in the sense: hollow between muscles): from Old French fontanele, literally: a little spring, from fontainefountain]
 
fontanel or chiefly (US) fontanel
 
n
 
[C16 (in the sense: hollow between muscles): from Old French fontanele, literally: a little spring, from fontainefountain]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fontanelle
also fontanel, 1540s, "hollow between two muscles," from O.Fr. fontenelle, dim. of fontaine "spring" (see fountain), on analogy of the dent in the earth where a spring arises. In reference to the "hollow" in a baby's skull, it is first recorded 1741.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fontanel fon·ta·nel or fon·ta·nelle (fŏn'tə-něl')
n.
Any of the soft membranous gaps between the incompletely formed cranial bones of a fetus or an infant. Also called soft spot.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
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