Origin of patella
Latin, from diminutive of patina shallow dish
First Known Use: 1693
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Medical Definition of patella
: a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee, protects the front of the joint, increases the leverage of the quadriceps, and is usually regarded as a sesamoid bone since it is developed in the tendon of the quadriceps and in structure is similar to other sesamoid bones—called also kneecap, kneepan
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