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

  • n. The sphenoid bone.
  • adj. Wedge-shaped.
  • adj. Of or relating to the sphenoid bone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Wedge-shaped.
  • n. The sphenoid bone.
  • n. A wedge-shaped crystal bounded by four equal isosceles triangles; the hemihedral form of a square pyramid.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Wedge-shaped.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the sphenoid bone.
  • n. A wedge-shaped crystal bounded by four equal isosceles triangles. It is the hemihedral form of a square pyramid.
  • n. The sphenoid bone.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Wedge-shaped; wedge-like: specifically, in anatomy, noting certain cranial bones. See II., 2.
  • n. In crystallography, a wedge-shaped crystalline form contained under four equal isosceles triangles. It is the hemihedral form of the square pyramid of the tetragonal system.
  • n. In anatomy, a large and important compound bone of the skull: so called from its shape and connections in man.
  • n. By some authors the term is limited to a form having two faces only, which meet in a wedge-shaped edge. The combination of two complementary forms of this type is then called a bisphenoid. A tetragonal scalenohedron, a form having eight similar triangular faces arranged in symmetrical pairs, has been called a disphenoid.
  • n. In anthropology, a cranium the norma verticalis of which has a wedge-shaped form, the forehead being narrow and the greatest width being near the occiput.

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

  • n. butterfly-shaped bone at the base of the skull


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The orbital plate and that part of the sphenoid which is found in the temporal fossa, as well as the lateral pterygoid plate, are ossified in membrane (Fawcett) 34.

    II. Osteology. 5a. 5. The Sphenoid Bone

  • The third through the left sphenoid bone, the fourth through the left temporal bone.

    Shortcut Man

  • One was a LOMFDGB little old man fall down and go boom with a nasty 4cm nonlinear laceration on his sphenoid.

    First Time for Everything

  • Since 1998, every MRI I've had for a brain tumor has also shown an abnormal sphenoid sinus fluid level which accounts neatly for my thrice yearly sinus/cold/bronchitis problems.

    Are you taking vitamin pills?

  • You know that there is a disease called giantism, caused by ‘a certain morbid process in the sphenoid bone of the skull — viz., an excessive development of the anterior lobe of the pituitary body’ (this is from the nearest encyclopedia).

    Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions

  • Some student in the rhinology department had taken out the turbinates in his nose—and the whole rhinology department, judging from the notes, had taken turns finding and irrigating his sphenoid sinuses—the most difficult sinuses in the human head to reach.

    Sherlock Holmes on acid

  • The bullet had entered through the left temple, burning and splitting the skin and singeing Grace's hair above the wound, and shattering the sphenoid bone.

    The Killing Kind

  • Through the newly drilled hole in the sphenoid bone, Yarborough introduced the needle tip.

    Life Support

  • With the image on the screen to guide him, Yarborough began to drill through bone, the bit whining through the floor of the sphenoid bone.

    Life Support

  • Crushing blows to the frontal, parietal, sphenoid and supraorbital.

    The Black Ice


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  • (adj): wedge-shaped, Mod. L. sphenoides < Gk. sphenoeides

    (n): in mineralogy, any wedge-shaped crystal form with four triangular faces.

    Now go try to draw a solid 3-D representation of one that shows all 4 faces!

    January 1, 2009