• Clavis


    • UK IPA: /ˈklæv.ɪs/


    From Latin clāvis.

    Full definition of clavis



    (plural clavises or claves)
    1. (archaeology) A Roman key.
      • 1873, "Proceedings", April 9th, Journal of the British Archaeological Association, 29: 202Iron clavis, the solid web-shaped at the edges to fit the wards in the lock, and having a pointed broach and a kite-formed looped haft.
    2. A device for restraint of the hands.
      • 1904, Luther V. Bell, quoted in The Arena, 32: 540His hands were restrained by means of a clavis and bolt (of iron), appropriated to each wrist, and united by a padlock.
    3. A glossary.
      • 1784, William Cowper, in 1836 Robert Southey (ed.), The Works of William Cowper, with a Life of the Author, volume V, page 54Homer, with a clavis, I have had possession of some years.
    4. (biology) A key; an identification guide; a series of logically organized groups of discriminating information which aims to allow the user to correctly identify a taxon.
      • 1921, Journal of Botany 59: 180There are many disadvantages in using a clavis intended for another country, which necessarily includes plants that are absent from our islands while it omits some that are present and neglects the peculiarities of our island flora.


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