What do a.m. and p.m. stand for?


[het-er-uh-sur-kuh l] /ˌhɛt ər əˈsɜr kəl/
adjective, Ichthyology
having an unequally divided tail, characteristic of sharks, rays, and skates.
Origin of heterocercal
1830-40; hetero- + Greek kérk(os) a tail + -al1
Related forms
[het-er-oh-ser-kal-i-tee] /ˌhɛt ər oʊ sərˈkæl ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for heterocercal
  • The tail is heterocercal with the upper lobe much larger than the rounded lower lobe.
  • These fish have a heterocercal tail in which the backbone extends into the upper fork of the caudal fin.
  • Sturgeon tails are heterocercal, meaning the upper lobe of the tail is much longer than the lower lobe.
British Dictionary definitions for heterocercal


(ichthyol) of or possessing a tail in which the vertebral column turns upwards and extends into the upper, usually larger, lobe, as in sharks Compare homocercal
Word Origin
C19: from hetero- + Greek kerkos tail
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for heterocercal

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for heterocercal

Scrabble Words With Friends