[ fib-yuh-luh ]
See synonyms for fibula on
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.

  1. a clasp or brooch, often ornamented, used by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

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

Other words from fibula

  • fib·u·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fibula in a sentence

  • If fibulae were metal clasps, however, we have several varieties of ancient fibulae that might have been used for closing wounds.

  • Gold fibulae of circular form are found in the Kentish barrows, frequently ornamented with real or fictitious gems.

    English Villages | P. H. Ditchfield
  • There is no girdle, the arms are bare, no fibulae are shown.

    The World of Homer | Andrew Lang
  • They are far from being loose or trailing; no pins or fibulae appear.

    The World of Homer | Andrew Lang
  • The Spartan evidence for the pin and fibulae covers the later range of dates.

    The World of Homer | Andrew Lang

British Dictionary definitions for fibula


/ (ˈfɪbjʊlə) /

nounplural -lae (-ˌliː) or -las
  1. the outer and thinner of the two bones between the knee and ankle of the human leg: Compare tibia

  2. the corresponding bone in other vertebrates

  1. a metal brooch resembling a safety pin, often highly decorated, common in Europe after 1300 bc

Origin of fibula

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

Derived forms of fibula

  • fibular, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for 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.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.