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n. pl. pe·te·chi·ae (-kē-ī′)
A small purplish spot on a body surface, such as the skin or a mucous membrane, caused by a minute hemorrhage and often seen in typhus.
[New Latin, from Italian petecchie, pl. of petecchia, spot on skin, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *petīcula, short for *impetīcula, diminutive of Latin impetīx, impetīc-, variant of impetīgō; see impetigo.]
pe·te′chi·ate (-ĭt) 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.