punctum saliens

punctum saliens (uncountable)

  1. (biology, chiefly, historical) The primordial heart in an embryo, appearing as a throbbing point.
    • 1846, The Lancet London: A Journal of British and Foreign Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics, Physiology, Chemistry, Pharmacology, Public Health and News, page 382 ↗:
      The rudiments of the brain, eyes, punctum saliens, spinal cord, six vertebrae, shades of ribs, a dark knob at the cephalic extremity of spine, and an oval expansion at the caudal extremity.
  2. (figurative) Starting point, source; gist.
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:gist
    • 1830, The American Journal of the Medical Sciences, page 67 ↗:
      In him we discover the punctum saliens of a principle which is the master spirit of animal and vegetable motion, the ruling power of chemical science, the governing influence of atmospheric composition, the presiding genius of respiration, […]

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