One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A condition in which a person or animal has more than five fingers or toes on one, or on each, hand or foot.
- ‘However, polydactyly and limb-reduction defects occurred more frequently in regions that had the higher levels of contamination; differences were statistically significant for both types of malformations.’
- ‘Both males and females have a form of polydactyly (the presence of extra fingers or toes) and congenital heart disease.’
- ‘The incidence of polydactyly (supernumerary digits of hands or feet) is the same in both sexes, with simultaneous polydactyly of the hands and feet present in about one third of cases.’
- ‘True polydactyly more commonly occurs on the feet and may be present with malformation syndromes.’
- ‘Since postaxial polydactyly is an autosomal dominant trait, we may hypothesize that the two people who had served as models for Raphael were relatives, probably father and son.’
Late 19th century: from Greek poludaktulos (from polu- ‘many’ + daktulos ‘finger’) + -y.
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