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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Pain like this after a fall on the coccyx.
▪ Too much to expect a new pair of arms to grow out of her ribs, or her coccyx to elongate so enormously.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Coccyx \Coc"cyx\, n.; pl. L. Coccyges. [L., cuckoo, Gr. ?, cuckoo, coccyx. So called from its resemblance to the beak of a cuckoo.] (Anat.) The end of the vertebral column beyond the sacrum in man and tailless monkeys. It is composed of several vertebr[ae] more or less consolidated.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1610s, from Latin coccyx, from Greek kokkyx "cuckoo" (from kokku, like the bird's English name echoic of its cry), so called by ancient Greek physician Galen because the bone in humans supposedly resembles a cuckoo's beak.


n. (label en medical formal) The final (bottommost) fused vertebrae at the base of the spine, the tailbone.

  1. n. the end of the vertebral column in humans and tailless apes [syn: tail bone]

  2. [also: coccyges (pl)]


The coccyx ( ; plural: coccyges or coccyxes), commonly referred to as the tailbone, is the final segment of the vertebral column in humans and apes, and certain other mammals such as horses. In animals with bony tails, it is known as tailhead or dock, in bird anatomy as tailfan. It comprises three to five separate or fused coccygeal vertebrae below the sacrum, attached to the sacrum by a fibrocartilaginous joint, the sacrococcygeal symphysis, which permits limited movement between the sacrum and the coccyx.

Usage examples of "coccyx".

Broca and others claim that the sacrum and the coccyx represent the normal tail of man, but examples are not infrequent in which there has been a fleshy or bony tail appended to the coccygeal region.

Blanchard says he saw a tail fully a span in length: and there is a description in 1690 of a man by the name of Emanuel Konig, a son of a doctor of laws who had a tail half a span long, which grew directly downward from the coccyx and was coiled on the perineum, causing much discomfort.

Jacob describes a pouch of skin resembling a tail which hung from the tip of the coccyx to the length of six inches.

Lissner says that in 1872 he assisted in the delivery of a young girl who had a tail consisting of a coccyx prolonged and covered with skin, and in 1884 he saw the same girl, at this time the tail measuring nearly 13 cm.

Miller tells of a West Point student who had an elongation of the coccyx, forming a protuberance which bulged very visibly under the skin.

The coccyx was covered with the skin on both the anterior and posterior surfaces.

Percy thought the excrescence a prolongation of the coccyx, and said that similar instances were seen in savage men of Borneo.

Stamping and hopping about, suddenly more cheerful because of the sheer silliness of what she was doing, she started dancing with the sunbeams, kicking up swirls of strawdust, until she slipped and landed on her coccyx with a thud that jarred her brain.

The shock set him off-balance and he fell hard on the steps, damaging his coccyx and barrelling down to the wall below.

There was a moment of disorientation as she interpreted the picture being fed along the optical fibre plugged into her coccyx ganglion splice.

There was simply a large opening extending from the meatus urinarius to the coccyx.

There it is, to be reckoned with, like the coccyx, the pineal eye, and the vermiform appendix.

Vinod had also torn some of the sacrosciatic ligaments, which are attached to the narrow borders of the coccyx.

Since she took care to teach the man in advance how to ingest the essence, it was no sooner secreted than he ingested it into his penis and thence through his coccyx directly to the pubic region.