• synonyms


[pop-lit-ee-uh l, pop-li-tee-]
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adjective Anatomy.
  1. of or relating to the ham, or part of the leg back of the knee.
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Origin of popliteal

First recorded in 1780–90; poplite(us) + -al1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for popliteal

Historical Examples

  • At the back of the knee the popliteal artery can be felt beating.

    A Practical Physiology

    Albert F. Blaisdell

  • The popliteal area is a depression on the posterior surface of the distal part of the femur immediately proximal to the condyles.

  • The aneurism was cured by ligation of the vein above and below the communication and proximal ligature of the popliteal artery.

  • The same remarks in a lesser degree apply to the popliteal vessels.

  • In the case of femoral and popliteal aneurisms the method of Antyllus is often unsuitable.

British Dictionary definitions for popliteal


  1. of, relating to, or near the part of the leg behind the knee
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Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

popliteal in Medicine


(pŏp-lĭtē-əl, pŏp′lĭ-tēəl)
  1. Relating to the poples.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.