[ puh-tel-uh ]
/ pəˈtɛl ə /

noun, plural pa·tel·las, pa·tel·lae [puh-tel-ee]. /pəˈtɛl i/.

Anatomy. the flat, movable bone at the front of the knee; kneecap.
Biology. a panlike or cuplike formation.
Zoology. any limpet of the family Patellidae.
Archaeology. a small pan or shallow vessel.

Origin of patella

1665–75; <Latin, diminutive of patina, patena pan, literally, something wide open. See paten, -elle


pa·tel·lar, adjectivepost·pa·tel·lar, adjectivesub·pa·tel·lar, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for patella

British Dictionary definitions for patella

/ (pəˈtɛlə) /

noun plural -lae (-liː)

anatomy a small flat triangular bone in front of and protecting the knee jointNontechnical name: kneecap
biology a cuplike structure, such as the spore-producing body of certain ascomycetous fungi
archaeol a small pan

Derived forms of patella

patellar, adjective

Word Origin for patella

C17: from Latin, from patina shallow pan
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

Medical definitions for patella

[ pə-tĕlə ]

n. pl. pa•tel•lae (-tĕlē)

A flat triangular bone located in the combined tendon of the extensors of the leg and covering the front surface of the knee joint.kneecap
A pan-shaped anatomical formation.

Other words from patella

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

Scientific definitions for patella

[ pə-tĕlə ]

Plural patellae (pə-tĕlē)

The small, flat, movable bone at the front of the knee in most mammals. Also called kneecap See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.