a small bone or bonelike structure; esp., any of the three small bones in the tympanic cavity of the ear
Origin of ossicle; from Classical Latin ossiculum, diminutive of os, a bone: see ossify
A small bone, especially one of the three bones of the middle ear.
Origin of ossicleLatin ossiculum, diminutive of os, bone; see ost- in Indo-European roots.
- os·sic′u·lar , os·sic′u·late
- (anatomy) A small bone (bony structure), especially one of the three of the middle ear.
- The incus is one of the three auditory ossicles.
- (zoology) Bone-like joint or plate, especially:
- one of numerous small calcareous structures forming the skeleton of certain echinoderms, as the starfishes;
- one of the hard articuli or joints of the stem or branches of a crinoid or encrinite;
- one of the several small hard chitinous parts or processes of the gastric skeleton of crustaceans, as in the stomach of a lobster or crawfish.
- The skeleton of echinoderms is made of ossicles, linked to each other via muscles and connective tissue.