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[met-uh-kahr-puh l] /ˌmɛt əˈkɑr pəl/
adjective, Anatomy.
of or relating to the metacarpus.
a metacarpal bone.
Origin of metacarpal
First recorded in 1730-40; meta- + carpal
Related forms
intermetacarpal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for metacarpal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There are but four metacarpal bones; there is no metacarpal of the thumb.

  • And yet, in the cat and the dog, it is also able to adduct the first metacarpal bone.

  • metacarpal, the part of the hand between the wrist and the fingers.

  • The metacarpal bones are the five long bones of the back of the hand.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • From this arch (named the Sesamoidean) proceed the metacarpal Veins.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot Harry Caulton Reeks
  • The number of the metacarpal bones in mammals never exceeds five, but it often falls below it; the same is true for the digits.

  • The metacarpal, which articulates with the radial bone of the carpus, is larger than the one which is in line with the ulna.

  • Sometimes there is found a third metacarpal at the internal aspect; but, when present, it is but very slightly developed.

  • In the cat, the metacarpal bone of the thumb, although shorter than any of the others, is quite as thick.

British Dictionary definitions for metacarpal


of or relating to the metacarpus
a metacarpal bone
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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metacarpal in Medicine

metacarpal met·a·car·pal (mět'ə-kär'pəl)
Of or relating to the metacarpus. n.
Any of the five long bones that form the metacarpus and articulate with the bones of the distal row of the carpus and with the five proximal phalanges.

met'a·car'pal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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metacarpal in Science
Any of the bones of the hands in humans or the forelimbs in animals that are located between the carpal bones and the phalanges.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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