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[kahr-puh s] /ˈkɑr pəs/
noun, plural carpi
[kahr-pahy] /ˈkɑr paɪ/ (Show IPA).
the part of the upper extremity between the hand and the forearm; wrist.
the wrist bones collectively; the group of bones between the bones of the hand and the radius.
1670-80; < New Latin < Greek karpós wrist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for carpus
  • It is situated in the center of the proximal row of the carpus, between the navicular and triangular.
  • It is situated at the radial side of the carpus, between the navicular and the first metacarpal bone.
  • Ulnar translocation of the carpus is a form of wrist instability where the small bones of the wrist shift out of position.
British Dictionary definitions for carpus


noun (pl) -pi (-paɪ)
the technical name for wrist
the eight small bones of the human wrist that form the joint between the arm and the hand
the corresponding joint in other tetrapod vertebrates
Word Origin
C17: New Latin, from Greek karpos
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 carpus

1670s, from Modern Latin carpus, from Greek karpos "wrist," from PIE *kwerp- "to turn, revolve" (see wharf).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carpus in Medicine

carpus car·pus (kär'pəs)
n. pl. car·pi (-pī')

  1. The group of eight carpal bones and associated soft parts forming the joint between the forearm and the hand, articulating with the radius and indirectly with the ulna, and with the five metacarpal bones. Also called wrist.

  2. The carpal bones considered as a group.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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carpus in Science
Plural carpi (kär'pī')
  1. The group of eight bones lying between the forearm and the metacarpals and forming the wrist in humans.

  2. The group of bones making up the joint corresponding to the wrist in some vertebrates, such as dinosaurs.

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

complex joint between the five metacarpal bones of the hand and the radius and ulna bones of the forearm. The wrist is composed of eight or nine small, short bones (carpal bones) roughly arranged in two rows. The wrist is also made up of several component joints: the distal radioulnar joint, which acts as a pivot for the forearm bones; the radiocarpal joint, between the radius and the first row of carpal bones, involved in wrist flexion and extension; the midcarpal joint, between two of the rows of carpal bones; and various intercarpal joints, between adjacent carpal bones within the rows. The numerous bones and their complex articulations give the wrist its flexibility and wide range of motion

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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