caduceus[kə do̵̅o̅′sē əs, -dyo̵̅o̅′-]
This caduceus is the symbol used by the medical profession.
- An example of caduceus is the winged staff carried by Mercury, the messenger god.
- An example of caduceus is the symbol of the medical profession.
- the staff of an ancient herald; esp., the winged staff with two serpents coiled about it, carried by Mercury
- an emblematic staff like this with either one or two serpents, used as a symbol of the medical profession
Origin of caduceusClassical Latin uncertain or unknown; perhaps via Etruscan ; from Gr(Doric) karykeion, for Classical Greek kērykeion ; from kēryx, herald ; from Indo-European base an unverified form kar-, to praise from source Old High German hruom, German ruhm
- a. A herald's wand or staff, especially in ancient times.b. Greek Mythology A winged staff with two serpents twined around it, carried by Hermes.
- An insignia modeled on Hermes's staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession.
Origin of caduceusLatin cādūceus, alteration of Greek dialectal kārūkeion, from kārūx, herald.
- The official wand carried by a herald in ancient Greece and Rome, specifically the one carried in mythology by Hermes, the messenger of the gods, usually represented with two snakes twined around it.
- A symbol (☤) representing a staff with two snakes wrapped around it, used to indicate merchants and messengers, and also sometimes as a symbol of medicine.
Via Latin cādūceus, cādūceum, adaptation of Doric Ancient Greek καρύκειον (karukeion, “herald’s wand or staff”). This and Attic Greek κηρύκειον (kērukeion) are derived from κῆρυξ (kērux, “herald, public messenger”). Related to κηρύσσω (kērussō, “I announce”).