One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A toothlike projection from the second cervical vertebra on which the first vertebra pivots.
- ‘The axis possesses an ovate odontoid process for articulation with the preceding atlas.’
- ‘One of the serious complications of RA result from involvement of the synovium around the odontoid process.’
- ‘Some months ago a less than dramatic surfing accident left me with an odontoid fracture and an abrupt suspension of my life as a research paediatrician in the Gambia.’
Early 19th century: from Greek odontoeidēs, from odous, odont- ‘tooth’ + eidos ‘form’.
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