[kahr-puh l]Anatomy


pertaining to the carpus: the carpal joint.


a carpale.

Nearby words

  1. carousel fraud,
  2. carp,
  3. carp.,
  4. carpaccio,
  5. carpaccio, vittore,
  6. carpal joint,
  7. carpal tunnel,
  8. carpal tunnel syndrome,
  9. carpale,
  10. carpathian

Origin of carpal

From the New Latin word carpālis, dating back to 1735–45. See carpus, -al1

Related formsin·ter·car·pal, adjectivesu·per·car·pal, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for carpal

British Dictionary definitions for carpal



  1. any bone of the wrist
  2. (as modifier)carpal bones
Also: carpale (kɑːˈpeɪlɪ)

Word Origin for carpal

C18: from New Latin carpālis, from Greek karpos wrist

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 carpal



"of the wrist," 1743, from Modern Latin carpalis, from carpus "wrist" (see carpus). Carpal tunnel syndrome attested by 1970, from carpal tunnel, the tunnel-like passage that carries nerves through the wrist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for carpal




Of, relating to, or near the carpus.


Any of the bones of the carpus, including the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrum, pisiform, trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate bones.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for carpal




Relating to or involving the wrist.


Any of the bones of the human wrist or the joint corresponding to the wrist in some other vertebrates, such as dinosaurs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.