noun, plural bur·sae [bur-see] /ˈbɜr si/, bur·sas.
  1. Anatomy, Zoology. a pouch, sac, or vesicle, especially a sac containing synovia, to facilitate motion, as between a tendon and a bone.

Origin of bursa

1795–1805; < New Latin, Late Latin bursa a bag, pouch, purse < Greek býrsa a skin, hide
Related formsbur·sal, adjectivebur·sate [bur-seyt] /ˈbɜr seɪt/, adjectivepost·bur·sal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for bursate


noun plural -sae (-siː) or -sas
  1. a small fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between movable parts of the body, esp at joints
  2. zoology any saclike cavity or structure
Derived Formsbursal, adjective

Word Origin for bursa

C19: from Medieval Latin: bag, pouch, from Greek: skin, hide; see purse


  1. a city in NW Turkey: founded in the 2nd century bc; seat of Bithynian kings. Pop: 1 413 000 (2005 est)Former name: Brusa
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 bursate



by 1788 as an English word in physiology, shortened from medieval Latin bursa mucosa "mucus pouch," from Medieval Latin bursa "bag, purse," from Late Latin bursa, variant of byrsa "hide," from Greek byrsa "hide, skin, wineskin, drum," of unknown origin; cf. purse (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bursate in Medicine


n. pl. bur•sas
  1. A sac or saclike bodily cavity, especially one containing a viscous lubricating fluid and located between a tendon and a bone or at points of friction between moving structures.
Related formsbursal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

bursate in Science


Plural bursae (bûr) bursas
  1. A flattened sac containing a lubricating fluid that reduces friction between two moving structures in the body, as a tendon and a bone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

bursate in Culture



A fluid-filled sac or cavity that reduces friction between the bones, ligaments, and tendons in the body's joints.

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