[ ham-string ]
See synonyms for: hamstringhamstrung on Thesaurus.com

  1. (in humans and other primates) any of the tendons that bound the ham of the knee.

  2. (in quadrupeds) the great tendon at the back of the hock.

verb (used with object),ham·strung, ham·string·ing.
  1. to disable by cutting the hamstring or hamstrings.

  2. to render powerless or useless; thwart: Their efforts were hamstrung by stubborn pride.

Origin of hamstring

First recorded in 1555–65; ham1 + string

Other words for hamstring

Words Nearby hamstring

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use hamstring in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for hamstring


/ (ˈhæmˌstrɪŋ) /

  1. anatomy any of the tendons at the back of the knee: Related adjective: popliteal

  2. the large tendon at the back of the hock in the hind leg of a horse, etc

verb-strings, -stringing or -strung (tr)
  1. to cripple by cutting the hamstring of

  2. to ruin or thwart

Origin of hamstring

C16: ham 1 + string

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 hamstring


[ hămstrĭng′ ]

  1. A powerful group of muscles at the back of the thigh that arise in the hip and pelvis and insert as strong tendons behind the knee. The hamstring bends the knee and helps to straighten the hip.

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