abac·​u·​lus | \ ə-ˈba-kyə-ləs \
plural abaculi\ ə-​ˈba-​kyə-​ˌlī , -​ˌlē \

Definition of abaculus

: a tile used in mosaic : tessera

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of abaculus

1844, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abaculus

misreading of Latin ab oculīs “out of view,” as if diminutive of abacus abacus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abaculus

Time Traveler for abaculus

Time Traveler

The first known use of abaculus was in 1844

See more words from the same year

Statistics for abaculus

Cite this Entry

“Abaculus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abaculus. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Comments on abaculus

What made you want to look up abaculus? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!