caducei

caduceus

[kuh-doo-see-uhs, -syoos, -shuhs, -dyoo-]
noun, plural caducei [kuh-doo-see-ahy, -shee-ahy, -dyoo-] .
1.
Classical Mythology. the staff carried by Mercury as messenger of the gods.
2.
a representation of this staff used as an emblem of the medical profession and as the insignia of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.


Origin:
1585–95; < Latin, variant of cādūceum < Greek (Doric) kārȳ́keion herald's staff, equivalent to kārȳk- (stem of kârȳx) herald + -eion, neuter of -eios adj. suffix

caducean, adjective
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World English Dictionary
caduceus (kəˈdjuːsɪəs)
 
n , pl -cei
1.  classical myth a staff entwined with two serpents and bearing a pair of wings at the top, carried by Hermes (Mercury) as messenger of the gods
2.  Compare staff of Aesculapius an insignia resembling this staff used as an emblem of the medical profession
 
[C16: from Latin, from Doric Greek karukeion, from karux herald]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

caduceus
1590s, from L. caduceus, alteration of Doric Gk. karykeion "herald's staff," from karyx (gen. karykos) "a herald," from PIE *karu-, from base *kar- "to praise loudly" (cf. Skt. carkarti "mentions with praise," O.E. hreð "fame, glory"). Especially the wand carried by Mercury, messenger of the gods,
usually represented with two serpents twined round it.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

caduceus ca·du·ce·us (kə-dōō'sē-əs, -shəs, -dyōō'-)
n. pl. ca·du·ce·i (-sē-ī')

  1. A winged staff with two serpents twined around it, carried by Hermes.

  2. An insignia modeled on Hermes' staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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