-shes, -dy¡´-) noun
plural caducei (-sê-ì´)
1. a. A herald's wand or staff, especially in ancient times. b. Greek Mythology. A winged staff with two serpents twined around it, carried by Hermes.
2. An insignia modeled on Hermes' staff and used as the symbol of the medical profession.
[Latin câdúceus, alteration of Greek karukeion, from karux, herald.]
- cadu´cean (-sê-en, -shen) adjective
caduceus, wing-topped staff,
wound about by two snakes, carried by HERMES. In earlier cultures, notably
the intertwined snakes symbolized fertility, wisdom, and healing. The staff
was carried by Greek officials and became a Roman symbol for truce and
neutrality. Since the 16th cent. it has served as a symbol of medicine;
it is the insignia of the medical branch of the U.S. army.