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[ten-duh n] /ˈtɛn dən/
Anatomy. a cord or band of dense, tough, inelastic, white, fibrous tissue, serving to connect a muscle with a bone or part; sinew.
a reinforcing strand in prestressed concrete.
Origin of tendon
1535-45; < Medieval Latin tendōn- (stem of tendō) < Greek ténōn sinew (spelling with -d- by association with Latin tendere to stretch) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tendons
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In small birds it is not necessary to split ball of foot nor to remove these tendons.

    Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray
  • The tendons of his neck stood out white and rigid like whip-cords.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler
  • What bones and tendons do you use when you stand on tip-toe?

    A Handbook of Health

    Woods Hutchinson
  • tendons had been pulled, muscles strained from the force of the ejection.

    The Quantum Jump Robert Wicks
  • Wash and singe the fowl: take off the head and legs, and remove the tendons.

    The Italian Cook Book Maria Gentile
  • The tendons of your legs have a drawing sensation, and feel as if too short.

    Doctor Jones' Picnic S. E. Chapman
  • Every time he touched the foot-brake, she could feel the strain in the tendons of her own ankle.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis
British Dictionary definitions for tendons


a cord or band of white inelastic collagenous tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone or some other part; sinew
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin tendō, from Latin tendere to stretch; related to Greek tenōn sinew
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 tendons



1540s, from Medieval Latin tendonem (nominative tendo), altered (by influence of Latin tendere "to stretch") of Late Latin tenon, from Greek tenon (genitive tenontos) "tendon, sinew," from teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tendons in Medicine

tendon ten·don (těn'dən)
A band of tough, inelastic fibrous tissue that connects a muscle with its bony attachment and consists of rows of elongated cells, minimal ground substance, and densely arranged, almost parallel, bundles of collageneous fibers.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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tendons in Science
A band of tough, fibrous, inelastic tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. Tendons are made chiefly of collagen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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tendons in Culture

tendon definition

A tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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