One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sharp hook used by a surgeon for picking up small pieces of tissue such as the ends of arteries.
- ‘The physician should remove the insertion rod, then remove the insertion tube and the tenaculum.’
- ‘He used the tenaculum without patient discomfort and obtained the needed tissue.’
- ‘The physician should stabilize the cervix with a tenaculum.’
Late 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘holder, holding instrument’, from tenere ‘to hold’.
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