penis


penis
penile /peen"l, pee"nuyl/, penial /pee"nee euhl/, adj.
/pee"nis/, n., pl. penises, penes /-neez/. Anat., Zool.
the male organ of copulation and, in mammals, of urinary excretion.
[1685-95; < L penis tail, penis]

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Male sex organ, which also provides the channel for urine to leave the body.

Three long columns of tissue extend through its length, covered by elastic tissue and a thin layer of skin. One expands at the tip into a mushroom-shaped structure (glans penis) and contains the urethra (see urinary system), which ends in a slitlike opening. In sexual arousal, blood fills spaces in the tissue, and blood vessels constrict to hold it there, enlarging and hardening the penis in an erection. The foreskin, a circular fold of skin covering the glans, is often removed (see circumcision). See also reproductive system.

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 the copulatory organ of the male of higher vertebrates that in mammals usually also provides the channel by which urine leaves the body. The corresponding structure in lower invertebrates is often called the cirrus.

 The human penis is anatomically divided into two continuous areas—the body, or external portion, and the root. The root of the penis begins directly below the bulbourethral glands with a long cylindrical body of tissue known as the corpus spongiosum (or corpus cavernosum urethrae). This tissue extends through the body of the penis to the tip, where it expands into a mushroom-shaped structure called the glans penis. Running through the centre of the corpus spongiosum is the urethra, a common passage for semen and urine; the urethra ends in a slitlike opening at the tip of the glans penis. Beginning alongside of the bulbourethral glands are a pair of long cylindrical bodies called the corpora cavernosa penis. These continue through the body of the penis, occupying the sides and upper portion directly above the corpus spongiosum; they terminate immediately before the glans penis.

      The corpora cavernosa consist of empty spaces divided by partitions of tissue. The tissue consists of muscle, collagen (a fibrous protein), and elastic fibre. The corpora cavernosa are termed erectile tissue (see erection), because during sexual excitation, their fibrous tissue is expanded by blood that flows into and fills their empty spaces. The blood is temporarily trapped in the penis by the constriction of blood vessels that would normally allow it to flow out. The penis becomes enlarged, hardened, and erect as a result of this increased blood pressure. The corpus spongiosum is also considered erectile tissue. This area, however, does not become as enlarged as the other two during erection, for it contains more fibrous tissue and less space; unlike the corpora cavernosa, the corpus spongiosum has a constant blood flow during erection.

      The corpora cavernosa and corpus spongiosum are enclosed by a circular layer of elastic tissue. This in turn is covered by a thin layer of skin. The skin, which is slightly darker in colour than the rest of the body, is loose and folded while the penis is in a flaccid state. At the beginning of the glans penis, a circular fold of skin, commonly called the foreskin (or prepuce), extends forward to cover the glans. At birth or during early childhood, the foreskin may be removed by an operation called circumcision (q.v.).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • pénis — pénis …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • pénis — [ penis ] n. m. • 1618; lat. penis, d ab. « queue des quadrupèdes » ♦ Anat. Organe de la miction et de la copulation, chez l homme. ⇒ membre (viril), verge; fam. ou arg. biroute, bite, braquemart, pine, quéquette, 1. queue, robinet, 2. zizi, zob …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Penis — des Menschen Als Penis ( Aussprache?/ …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • penis — PÉNIS, penisuri, s.n. (anat.) Organ masculin de copulaţie şi micţiune. – Din fr. pénis, lat. penis. Trimis de cata, 27.03.2009. Sursa: DEX 98  PÉNIS s. (anat.) membru, (livr.) falus, (înv. şi pop …   Dicționar Român

  • Penis — Sm erw. fremd. Erkennbar fremd (19. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. pēnis Schwanz, männliches Glied .    Ebenso nndl. penis, ne. penis, nfrz. pénis, nschw. penis, nnorw. penis. Das lateinische Wort aus ig. * pes nis, entsprechend zu ai. pásas ,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • penis — 1670s, perhaps from Fr. pénis or directly from L. penis penis, earlier tail (Cf. Eng. tail in both senses, the sexual one slang), from PIE *pes /*pesos penis (Cf. Skt. pasas , Gk. peos, posthe penis, probably also O.E. fæsl progeny, offspring,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Penis — Penis, primäres Begattungsorgan verschiedener Wirbelloser (z.B. Plattwürmer, Egel, Schnecken, Insekten), vieler Reptilien und der Säuger. Der paarige Hemip. der Schlangen und Eidechsen besteht aus Kloakentaschen, die eine Spermienrinne bilden.… …   Deutsch wörterbuch der biologie

  • pênis — s. m. 2 núm. [Anatomia] Órgão sexual masculino. = FALO, PENE   ‣ Etimologia: latim penis, is, cauda   ♦ Grafia em Portugal: pénis …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • pénis — s. m. 2 núm. [Anatomia] Órgão sexual masculino. = FALO, PENE   ‣ Etimologia: latim penis, is, cauda   ♦ Grafia no Brasil: pênis …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • penis — [pē′nis] n. pl. penises or penes [pē′nēz΄] [L, tail, penis < IE base * pes > Sans pásas , Gr peos, OE fæsl, penis] the male organ of sexual intercourse: in mammals it is also the organ through which urine is ejected penile [pē′nīl΄, pē′nil] …   English World dictionary

  • Penis — Pe nis (p[=e] n[i^]s), n. [L.] (Anat.) The erectile external sexual organ of males, used in copulation, and in mammals, also for urination. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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