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[lig-uh-muh nt] /ˈlɪg ə mənt/
Anatomy, Zoology. a band of tissue, usually white and fibrous, serving to connect bones, hold organs in place, etc.
a tie or bond:
The desire for personal freedom is a ligament uniting all peoples.
Origin of ligament
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin ligāmentum, Latin: bandage, equivalent to ligā(re) to tie + -mentum -ment Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ligament
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The ligament is external, and the hinge carries cardinal teeth in each valve.

  • This ligament is ruptured in certain severe cases of dislocation of the hip.

  • They differ from Ostracea in having no hinge or ligament, and only resemble them in their irregularity and foliaceous structure.

    A Conchological Manual George Brettingham Sowerby
  • The hinge has small teeth or none, and the ligament, which is long, is internal.

    The Sea Shore William S. Furneaux
  • In the striped bass the pelvis is joined by ligament between the clavicles, near their tip.

  • The hinges have two teeth; the ligament is elongated and external.

    The Ocean World: Louis Figuier
  • If the ligament of a gaping bivalve should become dry and stiff, it can be softened by putting it in water.

    Our British Snails John William Horsley
  • Having or containing the ligament, as the cardinal pit in Mya, fig. 71.

    A Conchological Manual George Brettingham Sowerby
  • The ligament is variable and there is a large sub-central muscular impression.

    A Conchological Manual George Brettingham Sowerby
British Dictionary definitions for ligament


(anatomy) any one of the bands or sheets of tough fibrous connective tissue that restrict movement in joints, connect various bones or cartilages, support muscles, etc
any physical or abstract connection or bond
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin ligāmentum, from Latin (in the sense: bandage), from ligāre to bind
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 ligament

late 14c., from Latin ligamentum "band, tie, ligature," from ligare "to bind, tie," from PIE *leig- "to bind" (cf. Albanian lith "I bind," Middle Low German lik "band," Middle High German geleich "joint, limb"). Related: Ligamental; ligamentary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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ligament in Medicine

ligament lig·a·ment (lĭg'ə-mənt)

  1. A band or sheet of tough fibrous tissue connecting two or more bones, cartilages, or other structures, or serving as support for fasciae or muscles.

  2. A fold of peritoneum supporting any of the abdominal viscera.

  3. The cordlike remains of a fetal vessel or other structure that has lost its original lumen.

lig'a·men'tal (-měn'tl) or lig'a·men'ta·ry (-měn'tə-rē, -měn'trē) or lig'a·men'tous 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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ligament in Science
A sheet or band of tough fibrous tissue that connects two bones or holds an organ of the body in place.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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ligament in Culture

ligament definition

A kind of fibrous connective tissue that binds bones or cartilage together.

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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