the carpus or lower part of the forearm where it joins the hand.
the joint or articulation between the forearm and the hand.
the part of an article of clothing that fits around the wrist.
Machinery, wrist pin.

before 950; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German Rist back of hand, Old Norse rist instep; akin to writhe

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
wrist (rɪst)
1.  anatomy Technical name: carpus the joint between the forearm and the hand
2.  the part of a sleeve or glove that covers the wrist
3.  machinery
 a.  See wrist pin
 b.  a joint in which a wrist pin forms the pivot
[Old English; related to Old High German, Old Norse rist. See wriggle, wry]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. wrist, from P.Gmc. *wristiz (cf. O.N. rist "instep," O.Fris. wrist, M.Du. wrist, Ger. Rist "back of the hand, instep"), from P.Gmc. *wrig-, *wreik- "to turn" (see wry). The notion is "the turning joint.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

wrist (rĭst)

  1. The joint between the hand and the forearm.

  2. See carpus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see slap on the wrist.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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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Example sentences
Wrist-slapping sanctions would do little to change the actions of desperate rulers.
Stooping down theatrically, he plunges his protected hands wrist-deep into the soft surface.
They help check a broken wrist, a sprained ankle, the state of our teeth.
It sends a small electrical charge into your wrist and can be set to different
Idioms & Phrases
Images for wrist
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