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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tendons
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • tendons and muscles connecting these fingers were formed by strips of tanned leather and laces of raw silk.

    The Romance of Leonardo da Vinci Dmitry Sergeyevich Merezhkovsky
  • In small birds it is not necessary to split ball of foot nor to remove these tendons.

    Taxidermy Leon Luther Pray
  • These are succeeded by two tendons passing in common through a vertical groove at the lower end of the radius.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot Harry Caulton Reeks
  • His leg was broken, the skin and flesh were all torn away, and he was held by the tendons.

    Beautiful Joe Marshall Saunders
  • The necessity of removing the tendons from the legs of all large birds has already been mentioned.

  • These tendons can be seen in the leg of a chicken or turkey.

  • The tendons may soften and rupture, the hoof may slough off, quittors develop, or sidebones and ringbones grow.

    Special Report on Diseases of the Horse United States Department of Agriculture
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 American Heritage® 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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