[ pop-lit-ee-uh l, pop-li-tee- ]
/ pɒpˈlɪt i əl, ˌpɒp lɪˈti- /

adjective Anatomy.

of or relating to the ham, or part of the leg back of the knee.


Nearby words

  1. popishly,
  2. poplar,
  3. poplar bluff,
  4. poples,
  5. poplin,
  6. popliteal artery,
  7. popliteal entrapment syndrome,
  8. popliteal ligament,
  9. popliteal muscle,
  10. popliteal vein

Origin of popliteal

First recorded in 1780–90; poplite(us) + -al1

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for popliteal

British Dictionary definitions for popliteal


/ (pɒpˈlɪtɪəl, ˌpɒplɪˈtiːəl) /


of, relating to, or near the part of the leg behind the knee

Word Origin for popliteal

C18: from New Latin popliteus the muscle behind the knee joint, from Latin poples the ham of the knee

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 popliteal



1786, with -al (1) + Modern Latin popliteus (n.), 1704, short for popliteus (musculus), from poples "ham (of the leg)," which is of unknown origin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for popliteal


[ pŏp-lĭtē-əl, pŏp′lĭ-tēəl ]


Relating to the poples.

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