• synonyms


[tahr-suh l]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. of or relating to the tarsus of the foot.
  2. pertaining to the tarsi of the eyelids.
  1. a tarsal bone, joint, or the like.

Origin of tarsal

First recorded in 1810–20; tars(us) + -al1
Related formsin·ter·tar·sal, adjectivepost·tar·sal, adjectivesub·tar·sal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tarsal

Historical Examples

  • I was also glad to be reminded of teeth of camel and tarsal bones.

    More Letters of Charles Darwin

    Charles Darwin

  • The palpal organ is outside the tarsal joint, as it is in the Mygales.

  • Shortening the eyelid by excision of a portion of the tarsal plate.

  • The condition of the tarsal fold is characteristic of the species.

  • The legs consist of six joints, the tarsal joints being large and two in number, and bearing a pair of terminal curved claws.

    Our Common Insects

    Alpheus Spring Packard

British Dictionary definitions for tarsal


  1. of, relating to, or constituting the tarsus or tarsi
  1. a tarsal 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

Word Origin and History for tarsal


1817, from Modern Latin tarsalis, from Latin tarsus (see tarsus).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tarsal in Medicine


  1. Of, relating to, or situated near the tarsus of the foot.
  2. Of or relating to the tarsus of the eyelid.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tarsal in Science


  1. Relating to or involving the ankle.
  1. Any of the seven bones of the tarsus.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.