[lig-uh-muh nt]


Anatomy, Zoology. a band of tissue, usually white and fibrous, serving to connect bones, hold organs in place, etc.
a tie or bond: The desire for personal freedom is a ligament uniting all peoples.

Origin of ligament

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin ligāmentum, Latin: bandage, equivalent to ligā(re) to tie + -mentum -ment Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ligament

Contemporary Examples of ligament

  • Daniel Webster said justice is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together.

    The Daily Beast logo
    My Family's Lockerbie Rage

    Brian Flynn

    August 6, 2010

Historical Examples of ligament

  • This ligament is ruptured in certain severe cases of dislocation of the hip.

  • Interwoven is the love of liberty with every ligament of the heart.

    Pearls of Thought

    Maturin M. Ballou

  • Some of them were nearly as hard as ligament, and many an inch in length.

  • The hinge has small teeth or none, and the ligament, which is long, is internal.

    The Sea Shore

    William S. Furneaux

  • The hinges have two teeth; the ligament is elongated and external.

    The Ocean World:

    Louis Figuier

British Dictionary definitions for ligament



anatomy any one of the bands or sheets of tough fibrous connective tissue that restrict movement in joints, connect various bones or cartilages, support muscles, etc
any physical or abstract connection or bond

Word Origin for ligament

C14: from Medieval Latin ligāmentum, from Latin (in the sense: bandage), from ligāre to bind
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 ligament

late 14c., from Latin ligamentum "band, tie, ligature," from ligare "to bind, tie," from PIE *leig- "to bind" (cf. Albanian lith "I bind," Middle Low German lik "band," Middle High German geleich "joint, limb"). Related: Ligamental; ligamentary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ligament in Medicine




A band or sheet of tough fibrous tissue connecting two or more bones, cartilages, or other structures, or serving as support for fasciae or muscles.
A fold of peritoneum supporting any of the abdominal viscera.
The cordlike remains of a fetal vessel or other structure that has lost its original lumen.
Related formslig′a•mental (-mĕntl) null adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ligament in Science



A sheet or band of tough fibrous tissue that connects two bones or holds an organ of the body in place.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ligament in Culture


A kind of fibrous connective tissue that binds bones or cartilage together.

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.