noun, plural spicae [spahy-see] , spicas for 1, 2.
a type of bandage in the shape of a figure eight, extending from an extremity to the trunk.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. a first-magnitude star in the constellation virgo.

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin spīca literally, ear of grain; cf. spike2

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World English Dictionary
spica (ˈspaɪkə)
n , pl -cae, -cas
1.  med a spiral bandage formed by a series of overlapping figure-of-eight turns
2.  botany another word for spike
[C15: from Latin: ear of corn]

Spica (ˈspiːkə)
the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. Distance: 260 light years

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1728, bright star in constellation Virgo, from L., lit. "ear of grain," corresponding to Gk. stakhys (see spike (n.1)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Spica   (spī'kə)  Pronunciation Key 
A bright bluish-white binary star in the constellation Virgo, with an apparent magnitude of 0.96. Scientific name: Alpha Virginis.
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Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


brightest star in the zodiacal constellation Virgo and one of the 15 brightest in the entire sky, having an apparent visual magnitude of 0.98. It is a bluish star; spectroscopic examination reveals Spica to be a binary with a four-day period, its two components being of the first and third magnitudes, respectively. Spica lies about 260 light-years from the Earth

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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