Definition of caduceus in English:



  • An ancient Greek or Roman herald's wand, typically one with two serpents twined round it, carried by the messenger god Hermes or Mercury.

    • ‘This was the forerunner of the caduceus, the snake-entwined rod which is today the emblem of the medical profession.’
    • ‘It would seem like the natural successor to the Eagle that appeared in Herod's symbol, that he had stamped on his coinage, which was the pagan caduceus, which depicted 2 serpents on a eagle winged stick.’
    • ‘Mercury's caduceus is a wrought-iron trim on a herald's wand, his helmet wingless a metal bowl.’
    • ‘The snake has an important place in human cultures all over the world, from the staff of the Greek Aesculapius (the father of medicine), the caduceus with its encircling snakes, to the all seeing snakes of Persian legend.’
    • ‘He looked up at the jamb and saw the caduceus, the serpent curled around a sword, and realized this was the firewall between the medical computer and the rest of the ship's systems.’
    • ‘Hermes used a magic rod, the caduceus, with which he practised magic and it was this caduceus, which gained him entry into the underworld.’
    • ‘The caduceus is also the rod of healing and so Mercury is also the god of medicine, as had been Thoth before him.’
    • ‘If you examine the cards you'll notice that the one with 8 hands and the caduceus around the genital region looks downward, the golden bronze figure with 2 arms looks centrally or straight at you at you.’
    • ‘The drone is the idea of sound underneath the appearances, the dark emptiness that groans out of the fault, the opening, that the poet, now the mature, oracular Nobel Laureate, approaches with his caduceus.’
    • ‘Nearly all his works are signed with a caduceus (a herald's staff).’
    • ‘Flanking the third looking glass are Mercury, god of trade and profit, identified by his caduceus and broad winged hat, and Euterpe, Muse of music, holding a flute.’
    • ‘For centuries this staff, known also as the caduceus, the winged staff of Hermes-Mercury, the messenger of the gods, is depicted with two entwining serpents and has been the symbol of the medical profession.’
    • ‘He mentions the physical traits that Virgil elaborates - Mercury's characteristic caduceus and winged heels - and he adopts the same point of view for Mercury's flight.’
    • ‘The image also invokes the caduceus - snake entwined staff, symbol of Aesculapius, Greco-Roman god of medicine, and carried by Mercury.’
    • ‘The caduceus, a double spiral around a staff, is a symbol of the medical profession.’
    • ‘Over the door of a handsome brick building dated 1937, beneath a clustered family group whose adult held a caduceus, the lintel bore this inscription.’
    baton, stick, staff, pole, bar, dowel, rod, stake
    View synonyms


Latin, from Doric Greek karukeion from Greek kērux herald.