[foo l-kruh m, fuhl-]
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noun, plural ful·crums, ful·cra [foo l-kruh, fuhl-] /ˈfʊl krə, ˈfʌl-/.
  1. the support, or point of rest, on which a lever turns in moving a body.
  2. any prop or support.
  3. Zoology. any of various structures in an animal serving as a hinge or support.
verb (used with object)
  1. to fit with a fulcrum; put a fulcrum on.

Origin of fulcrum

1665–75; < Latin: back-support of a couch, apparently for fulctrum, equivalent to fulc(īre) to hold up, support + -trum noun suffix of instrument
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for fulcrum


noun plural -crums or -cra (-krə)
  1. the pivot about which a lever turns
  2. something that supports or sustains; prop
  3. a spinelike scale occurring in rows along the anterior edge of the fins in primitive bony fishes such as the sturgeon

Word Origin for fulcrum

C17: from Latin: foot of a couch, bedpost, from fulcire to prop up
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 fulcrum

1670s, "a prop, a support" (on which a lever turns), from Latin fulcrum "bedpost," from fulcire "to prop up, support" (see balk).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fulcrum in Medicine


[fulkrəm, fŭl-]
n. pl. ful•crums
  1. The point or support on which a lever pivots.
  2. An anatomical structure that acts as a hinge or point of support.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

fulcrum in Science


  1. The point or support on which a lever turns. The position of the fulcrum, relative to the positions of the load and effort, determines the type of lever.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fulcrum in Culture


[(fool-kruhm, ful-kruhm)]

The point on which a lever is balanced when a force is exerted.

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.