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[fee-mer] /ˈfi mər/
noun, plural femurs, femora
[fem-er-uh] /ˈfɛm ər ə/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy. a bone in the human leg extending from the pelvis to the knee, that is the longest, largest, and strongest in the body; thighbone.
Zoology. a corresponding bone of the leg or hind limb of an animal.
Entomology. the third segment of the leg of an insect (counting from the base), situated between the trochanter and the tibia.
1555-65; < Latin: thigh Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for femur
  • Doctors will soon insert pins into his broken right femur.
  • The paleontologist and her colleagues removed mineral fragments from the interior of the femur by soaking it in a weak acid.
  • The dead bone is in the femur, the large bone in the thigh, where the femur meets the knee.
  • He had a compound fracture of his femur in two places.
  • It involves scraping the surfaces of the hip joint and femur and placing a metal cap over the bone.
  • Look at the inside of a femur for an excellent example.
  • He gropes gently back and forth and-so quickly it seems miraculous-extracts a long bone the color of mahogany: a human femur.
  • Nearby is a long bone, a femur probably, that has been gnawed to a bloodless white.
  • It's not a mammoth tusk, but the femur of a giant deer or horse.
  • The trochlear groove is the concave surface where the kneecap brushes up against the femur.
British Dictionary definitions for femur


noun (pl) femurs, femora (ˈfɛmərə)
the longest thickest bone of the human skeleton, articulating with the pelvis above and the knee below Nontechnical name thighbone
the corresponding bone in other vertebrates
the segment of an insect's leg nearest to the body
Word Origin
C18: from Latin: thigh
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 femur

1560s, from Latin femur "thigh," of unknown origin; borrowed first as an architectural term, 1799 as "thighbone."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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femur in Medicine

femur fe·mur (fē'mər)
n. pl. fe·murs or fem·o·ra (fěm'ər-ə)

  1. See thigh.

  2. The long bone of the thigh, and the longest and strongest bone in the human body, situated between the pelvis and the knee and articulating with the hipbone and with the tibia and patella. Also called thighbone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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femur in Science
The long bone of the thigh or of the upper portion of the hind leg. See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for femur

upper bone of the leg or hind leg. The head forms a ball-and-socket joint with the hip (at the acetabulum), being held in place by a ligament (ligamentum teres femoris) within the socket and by strong surrounding ligaments. In humans the neck of the femur connects the shaft and head at a 125 angle, which is efficient for walking. A prominence of the femur at the outside top of the thigh provides attachment for the gluteus medius and minimus muscles. The shaft is somewhat convex forward and strengthened behind by a pillar of bone called the linea aspera. Two large prominences, or condyles, on either side of the lower end of the femur form the upper half of the knee joint, which is completed below by the tibia (shin) and patella (kneecap). Internally, the femur shows the development of arcs of bone called trabeculae that are efficiently arranged to transmit pressure and resist stress. Human femurs have been shown to be capable of resisting compression forces of 800-1,100 kg (1,800-2,500 pounds)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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