Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
ca·du·ce·us(kə-do͞o′sē-əs, -shəs, -dyo͞o′-)
n. pl. ca·du·ce·i (-sē-ī′)
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.
2. An insignia modeled on Hermes's staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession.
[Latin cādūceus, alteration of Greek dialectal kārūkeion, from kārūx, herald.]
ca·du′ce·an (-sē-ən, -shən) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
n, pl -cei (-sɪˌaɪ)
1. (Classical Myth & Legend) classical myth a staff entwined with two serpents and bearing a pair of wings at the top, carried by Hermes (Mercury) as messenger of the gods
2. (Medicine) an insignia resembling this staff used as an emblem of the medical profession. Compare staff of Aesculapius
[C16: from Latin, from Doric Greek karukeion, from karux herald]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ca•du•ce•us(kəˈdu si əs, -syus, -ʃəs, -ˈdyu-)
n., pl. -ce•i (-siˌaɪ)
1. the winged staff carried by Mercury as messenger of the gods.
2. a representation of this staff used as a symbol of the medical profession.
[1585–95; < Latin, variant of cādūceum < Greek]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.