One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small bone in the middle ear which transmits vibrations of the eardrum to the incus.
- ‘In mammals they are called the malleus, incus and stapes.’
- ‘The malleus, or hammer, is the largest of the three ossicles.’
- ‘Mammals have three, the stapes, the malleus, and incus, the last two being the old reptilian jaw joint still conserved deep within our ear.’
- ‘The air pressure on either side of the eardrum is normally kept equal for proper functioning of the middle ear structures, namely the malleus, incus and stapes bones.’
- ‘Urbantschitsch has provided detailed measurements of the malleus, incus and the stapes.’
Mid 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘hammer’.
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