One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(especially of crustacean limbs and antennae) dividing to form two branches.
- ‘The appendages are primitively branched, and although this condition is modified in many species, adults always have at least some biramous appendages.’
- ‘The anteriormost five abdominal appendages are, almost without exception, biramous.’
- ‘About ten limbs appear to have been present, which may have been biramous.’
- ‘My biramous appendages are quivering, Mr. President.’
- ‘An answer lies, he says, in the origin and modification of the ancestral biramous limb.’
Late 19th century: from bi- ‘two’ + ramus + -ous.
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