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[uhl-nuh] /ˈʌl nə/
noun, plural ulnae
[uhl-nee] /ˈʌl ni/ (Show IPA),
Anatomy. the bone of the forearm on the side opposite to the thumb.
Compare radius (def 7).
a corresponding bone in the forelimb of other vertebrates.
Origin of ulna
1835-45; < Latin: elbow; akin to Greek ōlénē, Old English eln ell2
Related forms
ulnar, adjective
postulnar, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ulna
Historical Examples
  • The radius moves around on the ulna by means of a pivot joint.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • The ulna must then be cleared, and the triceps divided at its insertion.

  • The humerus is much longer than with the Yezo Ainu, while the ulna and radius are shorter; the hand is the same length.

    Alone with the Hairy Ainu A. H. Savage Landor
  • The fore-arm or antibrachium consists of two bones, the radius and ulna.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The second segment contains two long bones, the radius and ulna (or arm bones), or the tibia and fibula (or leg bones).

    Degeneracy Eugene S. Talbot
  • The ulna (fig. 57, 3) is longer, stouter, and slightly curved.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The radius and ulna are nearly equal in size and each consists of a long shaft terminated at either end by an epiphysis.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The radius and ulna are not ankylosed, but are incapable of any rotatory movement.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The secondary quills or those attached to the ulna vary much in number according to the length of the bone.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
  • The clavicle is well developed, and the radius and ulna are never united.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton Sidney H. Reynolds
British Dictionary definitions for ulna


noun (pl) -nae (-niː), -nas
the inner and longer of the two bones of the human forearm
the corresponding bone in other vertebrates
Derived Forms
ulnar, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin: elbow, ell1
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 ulna

inner bone of the forearm, 1540s, Latin, literally "elbow;" related to Old English eln (see elbow (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ulna in Medicine

ulna ul·na (ŭl'nə)
n. pl. ul·nas or ul·nae (-nē)
The larger bone of the two bones of the forearm, extending from elbow to wrist on the side opposite the thumb. Also called cubitus, elbow bone.

ul'nar adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ulna in Science
Plural ulnas or ulnae (ŭl'nē)
The longer of the two bones of the forearm or lower portion of the foreleg. See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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