sa·crum (sā’krəm, săk’rəm)
n. pl. sa·cra(sā’krə, săk’rə) A triangular bone made up of five fused vertebrae and forming the posterior section of the pelvis.
[New Latin, from Late Latin(os) sacrum, sacred (bone), sacrum (translation of Greekhieron (osteon), sacred (bone), so called from the use of the sacrum and coccyx of sacrificed animals in divination), neuter of Latinsacer, sacred, holy; see SACRED(Cf. sacred).]
Word History: The human sacrum consists of five fused vertebrae, to which the coccyx or tailbone—the vestigial remnant of a tail—is attached. In Latin, this large bone was called os sacrum, literally "holy bone." (Os means "bone" in Latin, and sacrum is a form of the Latin adjective sacer, "holy," which is also the source of a number of other English words like sacred, sacrifice, and sacrilege.) The Latin term for the bone is in turn a translation of its Greek name, hieron osteon. (Hieron is a form of the Greek adjective hieros, "holy," while osteon means "bone" in Greek.) In ancient Greek animal sacrifices, certain portions of the victim were reserved for the gods, and among these was the sacrum with the tail still attached. After the gods' portions were placed in the sacrificial fire, a seer or diviner would often observe how the tail curled and sputtered in the flames, and he would interpret these signs as favorable or unfavorable. Greek representations of animal sacrifices on painted ceramics often show the tail curling in the fire and thus revealing the will of the gods.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • sacrum — [ sakrɔm ] n. m. • 1793; os sacrum av. 1478 « os sacré », parce qu il était offert aux dieux dans les sacrifices d animaux ♦ Anat. Os formé par la réunion des cinq vertèbres sacrées, à la partie inférieure de la colonne vertébrale, articulé avec… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Sacrum — Sacrum. Vue antérieure. Sacrum. Vue postérieure. Le sacrum est un os …   Wikipédia en Français

  • sacrum — SÁCRUM s.n. Os triunghiular (format din cinci vertebre sudate) aşezat în partea de jos a coloanei vertebrale şi care, împreună cu oasele pelviene, formează bazinul. [var.: sácru s.n.] – Din fr., lat. sacrum. Trimis de ana zecheru, 07.05.2003.… …   Dicționar Român

  • sacrum — bone at the base of the spine, 1753, from L.L. os sacrum sacred bone, from L. os bone + sacrum, neuter of sacer sacred (see SACRED (Cf. sacred)). Said to be so called because the bone was the part of animals that was offered in sacrifices.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sacrum — Sa crum, n.; pl. {sacra}. [NL., fr. L. sacer sacred, os sacrum the lowest bone of the spine.] (Anat.) That part of the vertebral column which is directly connected with, or forms a part of, the pelvis. [1913 Webster] Note: It may consist of a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Sacrum — (Os sacrum), das Kreuzbein (s. d. und Wirbelsäule) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • sacrum — sacrum; syn·sacrum; …   English syllables

  • sacrum — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. sakrum] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. n ndm, blm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} sfera rzeczy, zjawisk, spraw świętych przeciwstawiona sferze profanum (obejmującej rzeczy, zjawiska, sprawy świeckie) : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Zaliczać jakieś… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • sacrum — ► NOUN (pl. sacra or sacrums) Anatomy ▪ a triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hip bones of the pelvis. ORIGIN from Latin os sacrum sacred bone (from the belief that the soul resides in it) …   English terms dictionary

  • sacrum — [sā′krəm, sak′rəm] n. pl. sacra [sā′krə, sā′rə] or sacrums [ModL < LL (os) sacrum, lit., sacred (bone), transl. of Gr hieron osteon < hieron, sacred, ? last (< hieros: see HIERO ) + osteon: see OSSIFY] a thick, triangular bone situated… …   English World dictionary

  • Sacrum os — (Anat.), das Kreuzbein …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

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