from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The dorsal portion of a body segment of an arthropod.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun biology The upper or dorsal surface of an articulated animal such as an arthropod


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

[Latin, back.]


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word tergum.


  • 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 2009

  • 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 2008

  • [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 2007

  • 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 2003

  • ‘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 2003

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

    Explanation of Terms Used in Entomology John. B. Smith

  • 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 70 BC-19 BC 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 John [Editor] Kirtland

  • 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 Aquinas Thomas

  • 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


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.