• WordNet 3.6
    • n tarsus the part of the foot of a vertebrate between the metatarsus and the leg; in human beings the bones of the ankle and heel collectively
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tarsus (Anat) A plate of dense connective tissue or cartilage in the eyelid of man and many animals; -- called also tarsal cartilage, and tarsal plate.
    • Tarsus (Anat) The ankle; the bones or cartilages of the part of the foot between the metatarsus and the leg, consisting in man of seven short bones.
    • Tarsus (Zoöl) The foot of an insect or a crustacean. It usually consists of form two to five joints.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n tarsus In zoology and anatomy, the proximal segment of the pes or foot, corresponding to the carpus of the manus or hand; the collection of bones between the tibia and the metatarsus, entering into the construction of the ankle-joint, and into that part of the foot known in man as the instep. It consists in man of seven bones: the astragalus or hucklebone, alone supporting the leg; the calcaneum, os calcis, or heel-bone; the scaphoid or navicular bone; the cuboid, supporting the two outer metatarsals; and three cuneiform bones, supporting the other three metatarsals. The tarsal bones tend to arrange themselves in two rows, called the proximal and distal rows; in man the first three just named belong to the proximal row. A generalized tarsus, as found in some reptiles, consists of nine tarsal bones: an outer proximal, the fibulare; an inner proximal, the tibiale; one between these, the intermedium; a central one, the centrale; with five in a distal row, one for each metatarsal, called tarsalia, and distinguished as tarsale I–V from inner to outer side. Various suppressions, confluences with one another or with other bones, or additions to the number occur, destroying the symmetry of the typical tarsus; but seven is the normal mammalian number, as in man, where the astragalus is supposed to = the tibiale + intermedium; the calcaneum = fibulare; the scaphoid = centrale; the cuboid = tarsalia IV + V; the three cuneiforms = tarsalia I, II, III. In all Mammalia the ankle-joint is between the tarsus and the tibia, or tibiotarsal; in all vertebrates below Mammalia which have a tarsus the ankle-joint is among the tarsal bones, between the proximal and distal rows, and therefore mediotarsal. Birds offer the most exceptional case, there being apparently no tarsus, or tarsal bones, in the adult. This apparent anomaly is explained by the fact that the embryo has several tarsal elements, proximal ones of which become consolidated with the tibia as the condyles of the latter, and distal ones of which become similarly fused with the principal metatarsal bone. Hence, a bird's tibia is really a tibiotarsus, and a bird's principal metatarsal bone is really a tarsometatarsus; and the ankle-joint, apparently between the tibia and the metatarsus, is really mediotarsal, as is usual below mammals. See cuts under booted, Catarrhina, digitigrade, Equidæ, foot, metatarsus, Plantigrada, and Plesiosaurus.
    • n tarsus Hence In descriptive ornith., the shank; the part of the leg (properly of the foot) of a bird which extends from the bases of the toes to the first joint above, the principal bone of this section consisting of three metatarsal bones fused together and with distal tarsal bones. See cuts under booted, scutellate, and tarsometatarsus.
    • n tarsus In entomology: The foot; the terminal segment of any leg, next to and beyond the tibia, consisting of a variable number of joints, usually five, and ending sometimes in a pair of claws like pincers, or in a suckerlike pad, or otherwise. It normally consists of five joints, but some of these may be very small or entirely aborted, and in a few insects there is only one joint. These modifications are much used in classification, especially of beetles. (See tarsal system, under tarsal.) The joints are distinguished by numbers, the first being that attached to the tibia (in bees sometimes called the planta or palma, and in flies the metatarsus). The last joint is generally terminated by two hooks or claws called ungues, with a little piece, the onychium, between them, which Huxley regards as a sixth joint. (See unguis.) The tarsi serve the same purposes as the feet of vertebrated animals. See cuts under coxa, Erotylus, mole-cricket, Pentamera, and Tetramera.
    • n tarsus The last joint of a spider's leg, forming, with the preceding joint, or metatarsus, the foot.
    • n tarsus The small plate of condensed connective tissue along the free border of the upper and lower eyelid. It is burrowed by the Meibomian glands. Also called tarsal cartilage.
    • n tarsus See the adjectives.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Tarsus tär′sus the part of the foot to which the leg is articulated
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., fr. Gr. the flat of the foot, the edge of the eyelid. Cf. 2d Tarse
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. tarsos, the flat part of the foot.


In literature:

Theodore of Tarsus, 68.
"A Literary History of the English People" by Jean Jules Jusserand
Before that young Jew of Tarsus high honors rose, ready almost to lay themselves at his feet.
"Joy in Service; Forgetting, and Pressing Onward; Until the Day Dawn" by George Tybout Purves
Diodorus of Sicily, 52, 240 n. 91; of Tarsus, 275 n. 47.
"The Oriental Religions in Roman Paganism" by Franz Cumont
Saul of Tarsus was a devoted student and observer of the law, a strict Pharisee.
"Jesus the Christ" by James Edward Talmage
There is no Tarsus in Erasmus's life.
"Erasmus and the Age of Reformation" by Johan Huizinga
And by that vision Saul of Tarsus was transformed.
"My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year" by John Henry Jowett
Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Paul, whose name had been Saul.
"The Children's Bible" by Henry A. Sherman
That Saul of Tarsus had not lacked for luxuries in his youth, one easily guessed.
"Confessions of a Book-Lover" by Maurice Francis Egan
When we learn exactly what that coin is we will then, like Saul of Tarsus, see things in a new light.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
On what occasion is Saul of Tarsus first called Paul?
"Little Folks (November 1884)" by Various

In poetry:

For, blinded with thy beauty, I am filled,
Like Saul of Tarsus, with a greater light;
When he had heard that warning voice in Heaven,
And lost his eyes to find a deeper sight.
"When Yon Fool Moon" by William H Davies

In news:

Lots of DMZ and Deep Medi on wax from Eogan, lots of hip hop and tech-step from Tarsus, lots of enjoyment for listeners.