[ pas-tern ]
/ ˈpæs tərn /


the part of the foot of a horse, cow, etc., between the fetlock and the hoof.
either of the two bones of this part, the upper or first phalanx (great pastern bone) and the lower or second phalanx (small pastern bone), between which is a joint (pastern joint).

Origin of pastern

1300–50; Middle English pastron shackle, probably same word as Middle French pasturon, pastern < Vulgar Latin *pastōria herding (see pastor, -ia) + Middle French -on noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pastern

British Dictionary definitions for pastern


/ (ˈpæstən) /


the part of a horse's foot between the fetlock and the hoof
Also called: fetter bone either of the two bones that constitute this part

Word Origin for pastern

C14: from Old French pasturon, from pasture a hobble, from Latin pāstōrius of a shepherd, from pastor
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 pastern



late 13c., "shackle fixed on the foot of a horse or other beast," from Old French pasturon (Modern French paturon), diminutive of pasture "shackle for a horse in pasture," from Vulgar Latin *pastoria, noun use of fem. of Latin pastorius "of herdsmen," from pastor "shepherd" (see pastor). Metathesis of -r- and following vowel occurred 1500s. Sense extended (1520s) to part of the leg to which the tether was attached.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper