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[fib-yuh-luh] /ˈfɪb yə lə/
noun, plural fibulae
[fib-yuh-lee] /ˈfɪb yəˌli/ (Show IPA),
Anatomy. the outer and thinner of the two bones of the human leg, extending from the knee to the ankle.
Zoology. a corresponding bone, often rudimentary or ankylosed with the tibia, of the leg or hind limb of an animal.
a clasp or brooch, often ornamented, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
Origin of fibula
1665-75; < New Latin; Latin fībula bolt, pin, clasp, probably < *fīvibula, equivalent to fīv(ere), early form of fīgere to fasten, fix + -i- -i- + -bula suffix denoting instrument; the bone so called from its resemblance to the tongue of a clasp
Related forms
fibular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for fibulae


noun (pl) -lae (-ˌliː), -las
the outer and thinner of the two bones between the knee and ankle of the human leg Compare tibia
the corresponding bone in other vertebrates
a metal brooch resembling a safety pin, often highly decorated, common in Europe after 1300 bc
Derived Forms
fibular, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: clasp, probably from fīgere to fasten
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fibulae



1670s, "clasp, buckle, brooch;" 1706 as "smaller bone in the lower leg," from Latin fibula "clasp, brooch," related to figere "to fasten, fix" (see fix (v.)).

Used in reference to the outer leg bone as a loan-translation of Greek perone "small bone in the lower leg," originally "clasp, brooch; anything pointed for piercing or pinning;" the bone was so called because it resembles a clasp like a modern safety pin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fibulae in Medicine

fibula fib·u·la (fĭb'yə-lə)
n. pl. fib·u·las or fib·u·lae (-lē')
The outer, narrower, and smaller of the two bones of the human lower leg, extending from the knee to the ankle, and articulating with the tibia above and the tibia and talus below. Also called calf bone.

fib'u·lar (-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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fibulae in Science
Plural fibulae (fĭb'yə-lē') or fibulas
The smaller of the two bones of the lower leg or lower portion of the hind leg. See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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