Temple (anatomy)

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Temple (anatomy)
Proportions of the Head.jpg
The temple is the side of the head behind the eyes
Human skull side simplified (bones).svg
Human skull. Temporal bone is orange, and the temple overlies the temporal bone.
Latin tempora
Artery superficial temporal artery
Vein superficial temporal vein
Dorlands/Elsevier t_04/12793657

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Temple indicates the side of the head behind the eyes. The bone beneath is the temporal bone.


Cladists classify land vertebrates based on the presence of an upper hole, a lower hole, both, or neither in the cover of dermal bone which formerly covered the temporalis muscle. Those with no holes are called anapsida. The muscle whose origin is the temple and whose insertion is the jaw is the temporalis muscle. The brain has a lobe, called the temporal lobe.


This use of temple is a separate etymology than the word "temple" for "place of worship". Both come from Latin, but the word for the place of worship comes from templum, whereas the word for the part of the head comes from Vulgar Latin *tempula, modified from tempora, plural form ("both temples") of tempus, a word that meant both "time" and the part of the head. Due to the common source with the word for time, the adjective for both is "temporal" (both "pertaining to time" and "pertaining to the temple").

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