(in humans) the joint between the foot and the leg, in which movement occurs in two planes.
the corresponding joint in a quadruped or bird; hock.
the slender part of the leg above the foot.

before 1000; Middle English ankel, enkel (cognate with Middle Low German, Dutch enkel, Old High German anchal, enchil, Old Norse ǫkkul); Middle English anclowe, Old English anclēow(e) (cognate with Middle Low German anclef, Dutch anklāw, Old High German anchlāo) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source Link To ankle
World English Dictionary
ankle (ˈæŋkəl)
1.  See talus the joint connecting the leg and the foot
2.  the part of the leg just above the foot
[C14: from Old Norse; related to German, Dutch enkel, Latin angulusangle1]

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

O.E. oncleow "ankle," from PIE base *ank- "to bend" (cf. Skt. angam "limb;" see angle (n.)). The modern form seems to have been infl. by O.N. ökkla or O.Fris. ankel, which are immediately from the P.Gmc. form of the PIE root (cf. M.H.G. anke "joint," Ger. Enke "ankle");
the second element in the O.E., O.N. and O.Fris. forms perhaps suggests claw (cf. Du. anklaauw), or it may be from infl. of cneow "knee," or it may be dim. suffix -el.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

ankle an·kle (āng'kəl)

  1. The joint between the leg and foot in which the tibia and fibula articulate with the talus.

  2. The region of the ankle joint.

  3. The anklebone.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


in humans, hinge-type, freely moving synovial joint between the foot and leg. The ankle contains seven tarsal bones that articulate (connect) with each other, with the metatarsal bones of the foot, and with the bones of the lower leg. The articulation of one of the tarsal bones, the ankle bone (talus, or astragalus), with the fibula and tibia of the lower leg forms the actual ankle joint, although the general region is often called the ankle. The chief motions of the ankle are flexion and extension. Like other synovial joints (those joints in which fluid is present), the ankle is subject to such diseases and injuries as bursitis and synovitis.

Learn more about ankle with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences for ankle
Players wear hightop sneakers that provide extra ankle support.
The bones of the wrist and ankle are short bones, as are the sesamoid bones.
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature