Header image of wall of bricks Open menu Close menu


The cervix; the neck.

Latin cervic‑, cervix, the neck.

Though the Latin root sense is that of the neck, this form refers more commonly to the cervix, the neck of the womb. However, the adjective cervical can refer to both, as in cervical smear, a specimen of cellular material taken from the neck of the womb to test for cancer, or cervical vertebrae, the top seven vertebrae of the spinal column. On rare occasions the form refers to another kind of neck, as in cervicolabial, of the side of the neck of a tooth nearer the cheek. Examples relating to the cervix include cervicitis, inflammation of the neck of the womb, and cervicotomy (Greek ‑tomia, cutting), an incision into the cervix. Examples relating to the neck include cervicodynia (Greek odune, pain), pain in the neck; cervicofacial, relating to the neck and face, and cervicogenic, of a condition originating in the cervical vertebrae.

Copyright © Michael Quinion 2008–. All rights reserved. Your comments are very welcome.