[ met-uh-kahr-puh s ]
/ ˌmɛt əˈkɑr pəs /

noun, plural met·a·car·pi [met-uh-kahr-pahy] /ˌmɛt əˈkɑr paɪ/. Anatomy.

the part of a hand or forelimb, especially of its bony structure, included between the wrist, or carpus, and the fingers, or phalanges.

Nearby words

  1. metacarpal,
  2. metacarpal artery,
  3. metacarpectomy,
  4. metacarpophalangeal,
  5. metacarpophalangeal joint,
  6. metacenter,
  7. metacentre,
  8. metacentric,
  9. metacentric chromosome,
  10. metacentric height

Origin of metacarpus

1670–80; < New Latin (see meta-, carpus), replacing metacarpium < Greek metakárpion Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for metacarpus

British Dictionary definitions for metacarpus


/ (ˌmɛtəˈkɑːpəs) /

noun plural -pi (-paɪ)

the skeleton of the hand between the wrist and the fingers, consisting of five long bones
the corresponding bones in other vertebrates
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 metacarpus



1650s, Modern Latin, from Greek metakarpion, from meta- (see meta-) + karpos "wrist" (see carpus). Related: Metacarpal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for metacarpus


[ mĕt′ə-kärpəs ]

n. pl. met•a•car•pi (-pī)

The part of the hand that includes the five bones between the fingers and the wrist.

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