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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Penis \Pe"nis\ (p[=e]"n[i^]s), n. [L.] (Anat.) The erectile external sexual organ of males, used in copulation, and in mammals, also for urination.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1670s, perhaps from French pénis or directly from Latin penis "penis," earlier "tail," from PIE *pes- "penis" (cognates: Sanskrit pasas-, Greek peos, posthe "penis," probably also Old English fæsl "progeny, offspring," Old Norse fösull, German Fasel "young of animals, brood"). The proper plural is penes. The adjective is penial. In psychological writing, penis envy is attested from 1924.


n. (context anatomy English) The male reproductive organ used for sexual intercourse that in the human male and some other mammals is also used for urination; the tubular portion of the male genitalia (excluding the scrotum).

  1. n. the male organ of copulation (`member' is a euphemism) [syn: phallus, member]

  2. [also: penes (pl)]


A penis (plural penises or penes ) is the primary sexual organ that male and hermaphrodite animals use to inseminate sexually receptive mates (usually females and hermaphrodites respectively) during copulation. Such organs occur in many animals, both vertebrate and invertebrate, but males do not bear a penis in every animal species, and in those species in which the male does bear a so-called penis, the penes in the various species are not necessarily homologous. For example, the penis of a mammal is at most analogous to the penis of a male insect or barnacle.

The term penis applies to many intromittent organs, but not to all; for example the intromittent organ of most cephalopoda is the hectocotylus, a specialised arm, and male spiders use their pedipalps. Even within the Vertebrata there are morphological variants with specific terminology, such as hemipenes.

In most species of animals in which there is an organ that might reasonably be described as a penis, it has no major function other than intromission, or at least conveying the sperm to the female, but in the placental mammals the penis bears the distal part of the urethra, which discharges both urine during urination and semen during copulation.

Usage examples of "penis".

Owen speaks of a woman who was greatly excited ten months previously by a prurient curiosity to see what appearance the genitals of her brother presented after he had submitted to amputation of the penis on account of carcinoma.

On the other hand, a cleft scrotum, an ill-developed penis, perhaps hypospadias or epispadias, rotundity of the mammae, and feminine contour have also provoked accounts of similar instances.

Caddy mentions a youth of eighteen who had congenital torsion of the penis with out hypospadias or epispadias.

Smith mentions a man who had two penises and two bladders, on one of which lithotomy was performed.

One reason for this is that men masturbate by grasping and stroking the penis with one hand.

So there I sat with all that pressure, alone in a room, attempting to coax my penis into a firm enough condition for me to masturbate successfully and fulfil the trust and the dreams of the woman I love.

Heinous behavior, but there are many tales told today of unscrupulous Christians in Spain conducting a trade in Christian penes and foreskins to the Moors.

Aztec love witches, who gleefully cut off pieces of penes, she was a babe in arms.

One told me that at eighteen when she was a virgin, she often happened to look out of the window of her lodgings at the urinal down in the street and see the penes of the men urinating.

The two penises are usually somewhat defective as regards prepuce, urethra, etc.

Pare speaks of a woman who, besides a vulva, from which she menstruated, had a penis, but without prepuce or signs of erectility.

Boyer cites a case of edema of the prepuce, noticed on the fifteenth day of the fever, and which was followed by gangrene of the penis.

The spermatic cord was divided close to the skin, and the skin of the penis and prepuce was torn.

So, with her anus and his penis both anxious to sample their mutual delights it was not long before he was rasping and reaming her backside with animal intensity.

Stupid to embrace sedition with a penis, particularly when the shishi possessors were few, most were being scattered or killed, and they continued to commit the unforgivable sin: failure.