noun, plural tarsi [tahr-sahy, -see] .
Anatomy, Zoology. the bones of the proximal segment of the foot; the bones between the tibia and the metatarsus, contributing to the construction of the ankle joint. See diag. under skeleton.
the small plate of connective tissue along the border of an eyelid.
the distal part of the leg of an insect, usually subdivided in the adult into two to five segments.

1670–80; < Neo-Latin < Greek tarsós flat of the foot

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World English Dictionary
tarsus (ˈtɑːsəs)
n , pl -si
1.  the bones of the ankle and heel, collectively
2.  a.  the corresponding part in other mammals and in amphibians and reptiles
 b.  another name for tarsometatarsus
3.  the dense connective tissue supporting the free edge of each eyelid
4.  the part of an insect's leg that lies distal to the tibia
[C17: from New Latin, from Greek tarsos flat surface, instep]

Tarsus (ˈtɑːsəs)
1.  a city in SE Turkey, on the Tarsus River: site of ruins of ancient Tarsus, capital of Cilicia, and birthplace of St Paul. Pop: 231 000 (2005 est)
2.  Ancient name: Cydnus a river in SE Turkey, in Cilicia, rising in the Taurus Mountains and flowing south past Tarsus to the Mediterranean. Length: 153 km (95 miles)

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Word Origin & History

the ankle bones collectively, 1676, from Mod.L., from Gk. tarsos "ankle, sole of the foot, rim of the eyelid," originally "flat surface, especially for drying," from PIE base *ters- "to dry" (cf. Gk. teresesthai "to be or become dry," tersainein "to make dry;" L. terra "land, ground, soil," torrere
"dry up, parch;" see terrain).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tarsus tar·sus (tär'səs)
n. pl. tar·si (-sī)

  1. The area of articulation between the foot and the leg, comprising the seven bones of the instep: the talus, calcaneus, navicular, three cuneiform, and cuboid bones.

  2. The fibrous plate that supports and shapes the edges of the eyelids. Also called tarsal plate.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
tarsus   (tär'səs)  Pronunciation Key 
Plural tarsi (tär'sī, -sē)
  1. The group of seven bones lying between the leg and the metatarsals and forming part of the ankle.

  2. The group of bones lying between the leg and metatarsals in the hind feet in some vertebrates, such as dinosaurs and birds.

  3. A fibrous plate that supports and shapes the edge of the eyelid.

  4. The lower part of the leg of an arthropod, usually divided into segments.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Tarsus definition

the chief city of Cilicia. It was distinguished for its wealth and for its schools of learning, in which it rivalled, nay, excelled even Athens and Alexandria, and hence was spoken of as "no mean city." It was the native place of the Apostle Paul (Acts 21:39). It stood on the banks of the river Cydnus, about 12 miles north of the Mediterranean. It is said to have been founded by Sardanapalus, king of Assyria. It is now a filthy, ruinous Turkish town, called Tersous. (See PAUL.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences for tarsi
The legs, which are multisegmented, end in two to five small segments called tarsi.
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