noun (es , pl2=clitorides)
- (anatomy) A small sensitive elongated erectile organ at the anterior part of the vulva in female mammals, homologous with the penis.
Etymology: From Ancient Greek (polytonic, ) kleitoris, a diminutive of uncertain origin, probably from (polytonic, ) kleiein "to sheathe, shut", in reference to its being covered by the labia minora.The related noun form kleis has a second meaning of "a key, a latch or hook (to close a door)." Wooden pegs were the original keys; a connection also revealed in Latin clavis "nail" and claudere "to shut" (see closeVerb, close). Some medical sources give a supposed Greek verb kleitoriazein "to touch or titillate lasciviously, to tickle," lit. "to be inclined (toward pleasure)" (cf. German slang "der Kitzler" "clitoris," lit. "the tickler"), related to Greek kleitys, a variant of klitys "hillside," related to klinein "to slope," from the same root as climax. But many sources take literally as Greek "little hill." The Italian anatomist w:Mateo Renaldo Colombo, Mateo Renaldo Colombo (1516–1559), professor at Padua, claimed to have discovered it (De re anatomica, 1559, p. 243). He called it amor Veneris, vel dulcedo "the love or sweetness of Venus." Slang abbreviation clit first attested 1960s.
- Dutch: clitoris , kittelaar
- French, clitoris
- German: Klitoris , Kitzler
- Italian: clitoride
- Spanish: clítoris
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