[ten-duh n]


Anatomy. a cord or band of dense, tough, inelastic, white, fibrous tissue, serving to connect a muscle with a bone or part; sinew.
a reinforcing strand in prestressed concrete.

Origin of tendon

1535–45; < Medieval Latin tendōn- (stem of tendō) < Greek ténōn sinew (spelling with -d- by association with Latin tendere to stretch)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for tendons

hamstring, sinew, tissue, ligament, cord, band

Examples from the Web for tendons

Contemporary Examples of tendons

Historical Examples of tendons

  • In small birds it is not necessary to split ball of foot nor to remove these tendons.


    Leon Luther Pray

  • The tendons of his neck stood out white and rigid like whip-cords.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

  • What bones and tendons do you use when you stand on tip-toe?

    A Handbook of Health

    Woods Hutchinson

  • Tendons had been pulled, muscles strained from the force of the ejection.

    The Quantum Jump

    Robert Wicks

  • Wash and singe the fowl: take off the head and legs, and remove the tendons.

British Dictionary definitions for tendons



a cord or band of white inelastic collagenous tissue that attaches a muscle to a bone or some other part; sinew

Word Origin for tendon

C16: from Medieval Latin tendō, from Latin tendere to stretch; related to Greek tenōn sinew
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 tendons



1540s, from Medieval Latin tendonem (nominative tendo), altered (by influence of Latin tendere "to stretch") of Late Latin tenon, from Greek tenon (genitive tenontos) "tendon, sinew," from teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tendons in Medicine




A band of tough, inelastic fibrous tissue that connects a muscle with its bony attachment and consists of rows of elongated cells, minimal ground substance, and densely arranged, almost parallel, bundles of collageneous fibers.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

tendons in Science



A band of tough, fibrous, inelastic tissue that connects a muscle to a bone. Tendons are made chiefly of collagen.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

tendons in Culture


A tough band of fibrous connective tissue that connects muscles to bones.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.