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[gas-trok-nee-mee-uh s, gas-truh-nee-] /ˌgæs trɒkˈni mi əs, ˌgæs trəˈni-/
noun, plural gastrocnemii
[gas-trok-nee-mee-ahy, gas-truh-nee-] /ˌgæs trɒkˈni miˌaɪ, ˌgæs trəˈni-/ (Show IPA).
the largest muscle in the calf of the leg, the action of which extends the foot, raises the heel, and assists in bending the knee.
Origin of gastrocnemius
1670-80; < New Latin < Greek gastroknēm(ía) calf of the leg + Latin -ius noun suffix
Related forms
gastrocnemial, gastrocnemian, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for gastrocnemius
Historical Examples
  • On the tibiotarsus, the peroneus and gastrocnemius muscles were measured.

  • The gastrocnemius, when it contracts, extends the foot on the leg.

  • Then she raised one of them, and her fingers explored the common tendon of the soleus and gastrocnemius.

    Gray youth Oliver Onions
  • Then it accompanies the gastrocnemius, and becomes tendinous where the tendo-Achillis commences.

  • It is on the external aspect of the latter we perceive it, between the peroneals and the gastrocnemius or tendo-Achillis.

  • On the back of the leg the most important muscles, forming what is known as the calf, are the gastrocnemius and the soleus.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • The hock is kept fixed in position by the gastrocnemius and the superficial digital flexor (perforatus).

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix
  • It relieves the gastrocnemius of muscular strain during weight bearing.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix
  • Near the stifle it passes between the two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle and continues as the tibial.

    Lameness of the Horse

    John Victor Lacroix
  • If the leg is chosen, the point of junction of the two heads of the gastrocnemius is an eligible situation.

Word Origin and History for gastrocnemius

1670s, from Latinized form of Greek gastroknemia "calf of the leg," from gaster "belly" (see gastric) + kneme "leg." So called for its form. Related: Gastrocnemical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gastrocnemius in Medicine

gastrocnemius gas·troc·ne·mi·us (gās'trŏk-nē'mē-əs, gās'trə-)
n. pl. gas·troc·ne·mi·i (-mē-ī')
A muscle with its origin from the lateral and medial condyles of the femur, with insertion with the soleus muscle by the Achilles tendon into the lower half of the posterior surface of the calcaneus, with nerve supply from the tibial nerve, and whose action causes plantar flexion of the foot.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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