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[pel-vis] /ˈpɛl vɪs/
noun, plural pelvises, pelves
[pel-veez] /ˈpɛl viz/ (Show IPA).
Anatomy, Zoology.
the basinlike cavity in the lower part of the trunk of many vertebrates, formed in humans by the innominate bones, sacrum, etc.
the bones forming this cavity.
the cavity of the kidney that receives the urine before it is passed into the ureter.
Origin of pelvis
1605-15; < New Latin; Latin: basin; akin to Greek pellís bowl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for pelvis


noun (pl) -vises, -ves (-viːz)
the large funnel-shaped structure at the lower end of the trunk of most vertebrates: in man it is formed by the hipbones and sacrum
the bones that form this structure
any anatomical cavity or structure shaped like a funnel or cup
short for renal pelvis
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: basin, laver
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
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Word Origin and History for pelvis

1610s, "basin-like cavity formed by the bones of the pelvic girdle," from Modern Latin, from Latin pelvis "basin, laver," Old Latin peluis "basin," from PIE *pel- "container" (cf. Sanskrit palavi "vessel," Greek pelex "helmet," pelike "goblet, bowl," Old Norse and Old English full "cup").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pelvis in Medicine

pelvis pel·vis (pěl'vĭs)
n. pl. pel·vis·es or pel·ves (-vēz)

  1. A basin-shaped structure of the vertebrate skeleton, composed of the innominate bones on the sides, the pubis in front, and the sacrum and coccyx behind, that rests on the lower limbs and supports the spinal column.

  2. The cavity formed by this structure.

  3. A basinlike or cup-shaped anatomical cavity.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pelvis in Science
Plural pelvises or pelves (pěl'vēz)
The basin-shaped structure in vertebrate animals that joins the spine and lower or hind limbs. In primates, the pelvis is composed of the two hipbones joined to the sacrum. It contains, protects, and supports the intestines, bladder, and internal reproductive organs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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pelvis in Culture

pelvis definition

The bowl-shaped group of bones connecting the trunk of the body to the legs and supporting the spine. The pelvis includes the hip bones and the lower part of the backbone.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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