testis definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. testes
Origin: Classical Latin
testis definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
noun pl. tes·tes
- The reproductive gland in a male vertebrate, the source of spermatozoa and the androgens, normally occurring paired in an external scrotum in humans and certain other mammals.
- An analogous gland in an invertebrate animal, such as a hydra or a mollusk.
Origin: Latin, witness, testis; see testify.Word History: The resemblance between testimony, testify, testis, and testicle shows an etymological relationship, but linguists are not agreed on precisely how English testis came to have its current meaning. The Latin testis originally meant “witness,” and etymologically means “third (person) standing by”: the te- part comes from an older tri-, a combining form of the word for “three,” and -stis is a noun derived from the Indo-European root stā- meaning “stand.” How this also came to refer to the body part(s) is disputed. An old theory has it that the Romans placed their right hands on their testicles and swore by them before giving testimony in court. Another theory says that the sense of testicle in Latin testis is due to a calque, or loan translation, from Greek. The Greek noun parastatēs means “defender (in law), supporter” (para- “by, alongside,” as in paramilitary and -statēs from histanai, “to stand”). In the dual number, used in many languages for naturally occurring, contrasting, or complementary pairs such as hands, eyes, and ears, parastatēs had the technical medical sense “testicles,” that is “two glands side by side.” The Romans simply took this sense of parastatēs and added it to testis, the Latin word for legal supporter, witness.
testis - Medical Definition
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
noun pl. tes·tes
The male reproductive gland, the source of spermatozoa and the androgens, normally occurring paired in an external scrotum. Also called didymus, orchis.
testis - Science Definition
Plural testes testes
The primary reproductive organ of male animals, in which sperm and the male sex hormones (androgens) are produced. In most vertebrates, the testes are contained inside the body. In many mammals, however, the testes are enclosed in an external scrotum.