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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.
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 ligaments
  • Torn tendons, muscles and ligaments plague athletes in many types of sports.
  • These form at the attachments of ligaments or tendons.
  • It showed that the ligaments around the joint were damaged.
  • Most features of the living apes-their torso, internal organs, ligaments and joints-are different from their more primitive kin.
  • They have stretchy ligaments in their jaws that allow them to swallow all their food whole.
  • It does however help me quite a bit to know about all the bones, ligaments, nerves and arteries that supply my shoulder.
  • The ovaries are loosely tethered to the spine by their elongated blood supply, and ligaments connect them to the uterus.
  • As dusk falls, she reaches the ligaments behind the bulla and calls for a flashlight.
  • Tetrapod hips, as a rule, are held firmly to the spine by ligaments and a group of fused ribs called the sacrum.
  • It could be put to all sorts of uses, from strong sutures to artificial ligaments to body armour.
British Dictionary definitions for ligaments


(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 ligaments



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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ligaments 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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ligaments 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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ligaments 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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