noun, plural hip·po·cam·pi [hip-uhkam-pahy, -pee] /ˌhɪp əˈkæm paɪ, -pi/.

  1. Classical Mythology. a sea horse with two forefeet, and a body ending in the tail of a dolphin or fish.
  2. Anatomy. an enfolding of cerebral cortex into the lateral fissure of a cerebral hemisphere, having the shape in cross section of a sea horse.

noun plural -pi (-paɪ)

  1. a mythological sea creature with the forelegs of a horse and the tail of a fish
  2. any marine teleost fish of the genus Hippocampus, having a horselike headSee sea horse
  3. an area of cerebral cortex that forms a ridge in the floor of the lateral ventricle of the brain, which in cross section has the shape of a sea horse. It functions as part of the limbic system

c.1600, a kind of sea monster, part horse and part dolphin or fish (they are often pictured pulling Neptune’s chariot), from Late Latin hippocampus, from Greek hippokampos, from hippos “horse” + kampos “a sea monster,” perhaps related to kampe “caterpillar.” Used from 1570s as a name of a type of fish; of a part of the brain from 1706, on supposed resemblance to the fish.

n. pl. hip•po•cam•pi (-pī′)

  1. The complex, internally convoluted structure that forms the medial margin of the cortical mantle of the cerebral hemisphere, borders the choroid fissure of the lateral ventricle, is composed of two gyri with their white matter, and forms part of the limbic system.

Plural hippocampi (hĭp′ə-kămpī′)

  1. A convoluted, seahorse-shaped structure in the cerebral cortex of the temporal lobe of the brain, composed of two gyri with white matter above gray matter. It forms part of the limbic system and is involved in the processing of emotions and memory.

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