[ kwod-ruh-seps ]
/ ˈkwɒd rəˌsɛps /

noun, plural quad·ri·ceps·es [kwod-ruh-sep-siz] /ˈkwɒd rəˌsɛp sɪz/, quad·ri·ceps. Anatomy.

a large muscle in front of the thigh, the action of which extends the leg or bends the hip joint.

Nearby words

  1. quadric,
  2. quadric surface,
  3. quadricentenary,
  4. quadricentennial,
  5. quadricep,
  6. quadriceps muscle of thigh,
  7. quadriceps reflex,
  8. quadricycle,
  9. quadriennial,
  10. quadriennium

Origin of quadriceps

1830–40; < New Latin, equivalent to quadri- quadri- + -ceps; see biceps

Related formsquad·ri·cip·i·tal [kwod-ruh-sip-i-tl] /ˌkwɒd rəˈsɪp ɪ tl/, adjective

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

Examples from the Web for quadriceps

British Dictionary definitions for quadriceps


/ (ˈkwɒdrɪˌsɛps) /

noun plural -cepses (-ˌsɛpsɪz) or -ceps

anatomy a large four-part muscle of the front of the thigh, which extends the leg
Derived Formsquadricipital (ˌkwɒdrɪˈsɪpɪtəl), adjective

Word Origin for quadriceps

C19: New Latin, from quadri- + -ceps as in biceps

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 quadriceps



1840, see quadricep.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for quadriceps


[ kwŏdrĭ-sĕps′ ]


The large four-part extensor muscle at the front of the thigh.


Having four heads, said of certain muscles.

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

Science definitions for quadriceps


[ kwŏdrĭ-sĕps′ ]

The large, four-part muscle at the front of the thigh that arises in the hip and pelvis and inserts as a strong tendon below the kneecap (patella). The quadriceps straightens and helps stabilize the knee.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.