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See more synonyms for fibula on Thesaurus.com
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

Related Words

clamp, clip, catch, harness, fastening, hasp, clasp, fibula, grip, hug, pin, snap, clutch, buckle, clinch, brooch, grapple, embrace, clench, grasp

Examples from the Web for fibulae

Historical Examples

  • There is no girdle, the arms are bare, no fibulae are shown.

    The World of Homer

    Andrew Lang

  • The Spartan evidence for the pin and fibulae covers the later range of dates.

  • They are far from being loose or trailing; no pins or fibulae appear.

  • There are no pins or fibulae visible; the upper garment hides the girdle, if girdle there be.

  • Brooches of the safety-pin type (fibulae) were extensively used in antiquity, but only within definite limits of time and place.

British Dictionary definitions for fibulae


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 fibulae



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

fibulae in Medicine


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.

fibulae in Science


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.