tes·tis (tĕs’tĭs)
n. pl. tes·tes (-tēz) 1) One of the paired male reproductive organs that produce spermatozoa and male sex hormones in humans and other vertebrates. 2) An analogous gland in an invertebrate animal, such as a flatworm or a mollusk.
[Latin, witness, testis; see TESTIFY(Cf. 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.

Word Histories. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • TESTIS — Isidoro, a quo quaeritur veritas in iudicio, quem quisque ante iudicium sibi placitis alligat, ne ei sit postea liberum, aut dissunulare aut subtrahere se: Unde alligatus quoque Cicer. l. 2. ad Q. Fratr. Ep. 3. Nerius index edidit ad alligatos,… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • testis — (pl. testes), 1704, from L. testis testicle, usually regarded as a special application of testis witness (see TESTAMENT (Cf. testament)), presumably because it bears witness to virility (Cf. Gk. parastates, lit. one that stands by; and Fr. slang… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Testis — Tes tis, n.; pl. {Testes}. [L.] (Anat.) A testicle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • testis — testis. См. семенник. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • Testis — (lat.), 1) der Zeuge; T, ocularis, der Augenzeuge; 2) s. Testes …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • testis — index witness Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • Testis — ⇒ Hoden …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • tèstis — m anat. muška spolna žlijezda; mudo, jaje, sjemenik ✧ {{001f}}lat …   Veliki rječnik hrvatskoga jezika

  • testis — [ tɛstɪs] noun (plural testes ti:z) Anatomy & Zoology an organ which produces sperm. Compare with testicle. Origin C18: from L. (see testicle) …   English new terms dictionary

  • testis — ► NOUN (pl. testes) Anatomy & Zoology ▪ an organ which produces sperm. ORIGIN Latin (see TESTICLE(Cf. ↑testicular)) …   English terms dictionary

  • testis — [tes′tis] n. pl. testes [tes′tēz΄] [L] TESTICLE …   English World dictionary

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