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ball-and-socket joint

[bawl-uh n sok-it] /ˈbɔl ən ˈsɒk ɪt/
noun
1.
Also called enarthrosis. Anatomy, Zoology. a joint in which the rounded end of one bone fits into a cuplike end of the other bone, allowing for relatively free rotary motion, as at the hip or shoulder.
2.
Also called ball joint. a similar joint between rods, links, pipes, etc., consisting of a ball-like termination on one part held within a concave, spherical socket on the other.
Origin
1660-1670
1660-70
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ball and socket joint

ball-and-socket joint

noun
1.
a coupling between two rods, tubes, etc, that consists of a spherical part fitting into a spherical socket, allowing free movement within a specific conical volume
2.
(anatomy) Also called multiaxial joint. a bony joint, such as the hip joint, in which a rounded head fits into a rounded cavity, allowing a wide range of movement
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
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ball and socket joint in Medicine

ball-and-socket joint n.
A multiaxial joint in which a sphere on the head of one bone fits into a rounded cavity in the other bone, as in the hip joint. Also called cotyloid joint, enarthrodial joint, enarthrosis, spheroid joint.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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ball and socket joint in Science
ball-and-socket joint
  (bôl'ən-sŏk'ĭt)   
  1. A joint, such as the shoulder or hip joint, in which a spherical knob or knoblike part of one bone fits into a cavity or socket of another, so that some degree of rotary motion is possible in every direction.

  2. A mechanical device consisting of a spherical knob at the end of a shaft that fits securely into a socket. Ball-and-socket joints are used to connect parts of a machine that require rotary movement in nearly all directions. Ball-and-socket joints allow the front wheels of a car to be turned by the steering mechanism.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ball and socket joint

ball-and-socket joint

in vertebrate anatomy, a joint in which the rounded surface of a bone moves within a depression on another bone, allowing greater freedom of movement than any other kind of joint. It is most highly developed in the large shoulder and hip joints of mammals, including humans, in which it provides swing for the arms and legs in various directions and also spin of those limbs upon the more stationary bones

Learn more about ball-and-socket joint with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Difficulty index for ball-and-socket joint

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Word Value for ball

6
9
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