• synonyms


  1. Also lu·nat·ed. being in the shape of a crescent; crescent-shaped.
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  1. Anatomy. the second bone from the thumb side of the proximal row of bones of the carpus.
  2. a crescent-shaped, microlithic artifact mounted in a haft to form a composite tool, mostly Mesolithic in origin.
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Origin of lunate

First recorded in 1770–80, lunate is from the Latin word lūnātus crescent-shaped. See Luna, -ate1
Related formslu·nate·ly, adverbsem·i·lu·nate, adjectivesem·i·lu·nat·ed, adjectivesub·lu·nate, adjectivesub·lu·nat·ed, adjectiveun·lu·nate, adjectiveun·lu·nat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lunate

Historical Examples

  • A yellow scolloped margin runs round their external edges, verged with black; above which are some lunate spots of a sky blue.

    Illustrations of Exotic Entomology, Volume 1

    Dru Drury

  • Cl., to which as a variety Cleve unites Lewis' form, appears to resemble it only in the lunate marks.

  • The chief distinction lies in the lunate tail, which has a keel on either side at base, as in the mackerels.

British Dictionary definitions for lunate


adjective Also: lunated
  1. anatomy botany shaped like a crescent
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  1. a crescent-shaped bone forming part of the wrist
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Word Origin

C18: from Latin lūnātus crescent-shaped, from lūnāre, from lūna moon
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 lunate


"crescent-shaped," 1777, from Latin lunatus, from luna (see Luna).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lunate in Medicine


  1. Shaped like a crescent.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.