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fibula

[fib-yuh-luh]
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noun, plural fib·u·lae [fib-yuh-lee] /ˈfɪb yəˌli/, fib·u·las.
  1. Anatomy. the outer and thinner of the two bones of the human leg, extending from the knee to the ankle.
  2. Zoology. a corresponding bone, often rudimentary or ankylosed with the tibia, of the leg or hind limb of an animal.
  3. a clasp or brooch, often ornamented, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
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Origin of fibula

1665–75; < New Latin; Latin fībula bolt, pin, clasp, probably < *fīvibula, equivalent to fīv(ere), early form of fīgere to fasten, fix + -i- -i- + -bula suffix denoting instrument; the bone so called from its resemblance to the tongue of a clasp
Related formsfib·u·lar, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fibula

Historical Examples

  • The fibula appears to be in the same condition as in the horse.

    Little Masterpieces of Science:

    Various

  • But think of gradation, even now manifest, (Tibia and Fibula).

  • In the bird, the fibula is small and its lower end diminishes to a point.

    Lectures on Evolution

    Thomas Henry Huxley

  • That is a fibula, Cora, such as I saw in a museum in Norway.

    Peak's Island

    Ford Paul

  • The first (a) is on a fibula from Etruria (fig. 190 of this paper).

    The Swastika

    Thomas Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for fibula

fibula

noun plural -lae (-ˌliː) or -las
  1. the outer and thinner of the two bones between the knee and ankle of the human legCompare tibia
  2. the corresponding bone in other vertebrates
  3. a metal brooch resembling a safety pin, often highly decorated, common in Europe after 1300 bc
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Derived Formsfibular, adjective

Word Origin

C17: from Latin: clasp, probably from fīgere to fasten
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 fibula

n.

1670s, "clasp, buckle, brooch;" 1706 as "smaller bone in the lower leg," from Latin fibula "clasp, brooch," related to figere "to fasten, fix" (see fix (v.)).

Used in reference to the outer leg bone as a loan-translation of Greek perone "small bone in the lower leg," originally "clasp, brooch; anything pointed for piercing or pinning;" the bone was so called because it resembles a clasp like a modern safety pin.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fibula in Medicine

fibula

(fĭbyə-lə)
n. pl. fib•u•las
  1. The outer, narrower, and smaller of the two bones of the human lower leg, extending from the knee to the ankle, and articulating with the tibia above and the tibia and talus below.calf bone
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Related formsfibu•lar (-lər) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

fibula in Science

fibula

[fĭbyə-lə]
Plural fibulae (fĭbyə-lē′) fibulas
  1. The smaller of the two bones of the lower leg or lower portion of the hind leg. See more at skeleton.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.