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[bur-suh] /ˈbɜr sə/
noun, plural bursae
[bur-see] /ˈbɜr si/ (Show IPA),
Anatomy, Zoology. a pouch, sac, or vesicle, especially a sac containing synovia, to facilitate motion, as between a tendon and a bone.
1795-1805; < New Latin, Late Latin bursa a bag, pouch, purse < Greek býrsa a skin, hide
Related forms
bursal, adjective
[bur-seyt] /ˈbɜr seɪt/ (Show IPA),
postbursal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for bur-sate


noun (pl) -sae (-siː), -sas
a small fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between movable parts of the body, esp at joints
(zoology) any saclike cavity or structure
Derived Forms
bursal, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Medieval Latin: bag, pouch, from Greek: skin, hide; see purse


a city in NW Turkey: founded in the 2nd century bc; seat of Bithynian kings. Pop: 1 413 000 (2005 est) Former name Brusa
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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Word Origin and History for bur-sate



by 1788 as an English word in physiology, shortened from medieval Latin bursa mucosa "mucus pouch," from Medieval Latin bursa "bag, purse," from Late Latin bursa, variant of byrsa "hide," from Greek byrsa "hide, skin, wineskin, drum," of unknown origin; cf. purse (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bur-sate in Medicine

bursa bur·sa (bûr'sə)
n. pl. bur·sas or bur·sae (-sē)
A sac or saclike bodily cavity, especially one containing a viscous lubricating fluid and located between a tendon and a bone or at points of friction between moving structures.

bur'sal adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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bur-sate in Science
Plural bursae (bûr'sē) or bursas
A flattened sac containing a lubricating fluid that reduces friction between two moving structures in the body, as a tendon and a bone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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bur-sate in Culture
bursa [(bur-suh)]

A fluid-filled sac or cavity that reduces friction between the bones, ligaments, and tendons in the body's joints.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for bur-sate


within the mammalian body, any small pouch or sac between tendons, muscles, or skin and bony prominences at points of friction or stress. The bursas are classified by type as adventitious, subcutaneous, or synovial. Adventitious, or accidental, bursas arise in soft tissues as a result of repeated subjections to unusual shearing stresses, particularly over bony prominences. Subcutaneous bursas ordinarily are ill-defined clefts at the junction of subcutaneous tissue and deep fasciae (sheets of fibrous tissue); these bursas acquire a distinct wall only when they become abnormal, and they are sometimes classified as adventitious. Synovial bursas are thin-walled sacs that are interposed between tissues such as tendons, muscles, and bones and are lined with synovial membrane. In humans a majority of synovial bursas are located near the large joints of the arms and legs.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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