Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The back.
  • n. The upper, outer surface of an organ, appendage, or part: the dorsum of the foot.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. ridge on a hill; Used by planetary geologists to refer to ridge on the surfaces of planet and moon.
  • n. The back or dorsal region on an animal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The ridge of a hill.
  • n. The back or dorsal region of an animal; the upper side of an appendage or part.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anat.: The back
  • n. The back of a part or organ: as, the dorsum of the foot; the dorsum of the shoulder-blade.
  • n. In conchology, the upper surface of the body of a shell, the aperture being downward.
  • n. The ridge of a hill.
  • n. In the ammonite cephalopods, the inner or umbilical margin of the conch.
  • n. In botany: Same as back. 3 .
  • n. The convex side of the girdle of a diatom.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the posterior part of a human (or animal) body from the neck to the end of the spine
  • n. the back of the body of a vertebrate or any analogous surface (as the upper or outer surface of an organ or appendage or part)

Etymologies

Latin, back.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The external surface (Fig. 235), known as the dorsum ilii, is directed backward and lateralward behind, and downward and lateralward in front.

    II. Osteology. 6c. The Bones of the Lower Extremity. 1. The Hip Bone

  • The new species is distinguished from all congeners by having a melanistic color pattern, with head and dorsum of the body mostly dark-brown to black; absence of postocular stripe; venter grayish-brown, with dark rounded blotches outlining two lateral stripes which become gradually paler towards the posterior region of the belly, disappearing after midbody.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • Serpentine veins rise across the dorsum of her hand, swollen with the back pressure of blood.

    Healer

  • The attention to detail is very impressive -- I mean the dorsum ridges look so natural I almost didn't notice them.

    This'll Cure that Freaky Fetish

  • The new taxon can be easily distinguished from all congeners, except Otocinclus cocama, by having a single, intensely pigmented, vertical W-shaped caudal fin spot and by having three discrete dark bands on dorsum, between the dorsal-fin base and the caudal fin.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • The juveniles, normally around 10 cm long, have a gold dorsum with a black central dorsal stripe and black sides.

    Archive 2006-05-01

  • Sacrorum contemptor, templi foribus effractis, dum D. Johannis argenteum simulacrum rapere contendit, simulacrum aversa facie dorsum ei versat, nec mora sacrilegus mentis inops, atque in semet insaniens in proprios artus desaevit.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Confert et pulmo arietis, calidus agnus per dorsum divisus, exenteratus, admotus sincipiti.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Verett claims that due to the injury she suffered at Pizza Hut, she was unable to avoid falling on a later date and tore tendons and suffered injuries to her left hand and wrist, including a partial tear of the pronator quadratus muscle at the dorsum. emphasis ours.

    $50k For Injury Sustained Holding Open The Door Of A Pizza Hut? - The Consumerist

  • Note 118: Canon, 1.3.1, fol. 65vb: "Deinde fiat ut in primis super ventrem sui iaceat, postea supra dorsum, et preter hoc totum incessanter fricetur et prematur, et figuretur: deinde ad ipsum cum panno fasciandum est redeundum." back

    A Tender Age: Cultural Anxieties over the Child in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries

Comments

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  • In a healthcare context, can refer to the back of the hand, as in, "Remember to wash your hands: knuckles, wrist, dorsum and all." Plural dorsa or dorsums?

    December 26, 2008