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

  • n. The upper or dorsal surface, especially of a body segment of an insect or other arthropod.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The upper or dorsal surface of an articulated animal such as an arthropod

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The back of an animal.
  • n. The dorsal piece of a somite of an articulate animal.
  • n. One of the dorsal plates of the operculum of a cirriped.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The back, dorsum, or notum, especially of an arthropod.
  • n. The tergal or dorsal sclerite of one of the rings or somites of an arthropod or articulate animal; a tergite.
  • n. One of the two upper or dorsal plates of the shell in cirripeds. See cut under Balanus.


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

Latin, back.


  • From the Latin 'tergum', back + 'versus', past participle of 'vertare', to turn: to use evasions or ambiguities, equivocate; to change sides, defect, apostasise.

    open source theology - Comments

  • Sed nec inter tantos repertus est vel unus, qui, tanquam vecors ant timidus, sive post tergum alterius declinans, seipsum a tanta caede praetendit excusare.

    The Fair Maid of Perth

  • [5815] Bartholomeus Scheraeus, that famous poet laureate, and professor of Hebrew in Wittenberg: I had finished this work long since, but that inter alia dura et tristia quae misero mihi pene tergum fregerunt, (I use his own words) amongst many miseries which almost broke my back, συζυγία ob

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Juvenis autem dextra pugionem super tergum tonsoris vibrans magna clamat voce [Arabic] i.e. caede sine timore.

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

  • ‘Quod protenditur a limite Serrain urbis sitae ad mare Kolzum adusque viciniam Madian, et inde reflectendo per limitem tendentem in ortum urbis Hhegr, ad montem Tai trunseundo juxta tergum Yamamah ad mare Persicum, hoc totum ad Hhegiaz pertinet.’

    Travels in Arabia

  • This is evasion (_tergiversatio_) for by desisting from what he had begun he seems to turn his back (_tergum vertere_).

    Summa Theologica, Part II-II (Secunda Secundae) Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province

  • Audouin distinguished a fixed number of hard chitinous parts, the dorsal tergum, the ventral sternum, the lateral "flanc" of three pieces, all to be recognised by their positions relative to one another.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

  • Notum: the dorsal or upper part of a segment: = tergum.

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology

  • The phrase _in tergum_ occurs twice elsewhere: ix. 764 -- meaning 'on the back'; and xi. 653 -- meaning 'backward'; and in x. 718 the uncertainty about the order of the lines makes it possible that _tergo decutit hastas_ was meant to refer to the boar, not to Mezentius.

    The Aeneid of Virgil

  • Ille igitur tergum vertit, et in speculum ínspiciébat; hóc modó ad locum vénit ubi Medúsa dormiébat.

    Ritchie's Fabulae Faciles A First Latin Reader


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