Main definitions of spica in English

: spica1Spica2

spica1

noun

Medicine
  • A bandage folded into a spiral arrangement resembling an ear of wheat or barley.

    • ‘Current treatment for this type of fracture is a thumb spica, but some evidence suggests that the thumb could be omitted from the cast.’
    • ‘As a basic rule, in a patient with a clinically suspected scaphoid fracture but negative initial radiographs, it is reasonable to apply a short arm thumb spica and re-evaluate the patient in two weeks.’
    bandage, covering, plaster, gauze, lint, compress, ligature, swathe, poultice, salve
    View synonyms

Origin

Late 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘spike, ear of corn’; related to spina ‘spine’. The current sense is influenced by Greek stakhus ‘ear of wheat’.

Pronunciation

spica

/ˈspʌɪkə/

Main definitions of spica in English

: spica1Spica2

Spica2

proper noun

Astronomy
  • The brightest star in the constellation Virgo.

Origin

Latin, literally ‘ear of wheat (in the hand of the goddess)’.

Pronunciation

Spica

/ˈspiːkə/