acetabulum

noun

ac·​e·​tab·​u·​lum ˌa-sə-ˈta-byə-ləm How to pronounce acetabulum (audio)
plural acetabulums or acetabula ˌa-sə-ˈta-byə-lə How to pronounce acetabulum (audio)
1
: a ventral sucker of a trematode
2
: the cup-shaped socket in the hip bone
acetabular adjective

Examples of acetabulum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The hip is a ball-in-socket joint where the head of the femur (upper leg bone) sits in the acetabulum, a socket in the pelvic bone. Milo F. Bryant, Men's Health, 8 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'acetabulum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed from Latin acētābulum "small cup (originally used for vinegar), sucker of a polyp, socket of the hip bone," from acētum "vinegar" + -a- (by analogy with derivatives formed from verbs, as vocābulum vocable) + -bulum, instrument suffix (going back to Indo-European *-dhlom) — more at acetic acid

Note: Late Indo-European apparently possessed several deverbal instrumental suffixes of similar shape (*-dhlo-, *-tlo-, *-dhro-, *-tro-, perhaps all originally < *-tro-, zero-grade of the agent suffix -tor), which are unevenly attested and partially conflated in the daughter languages. Note in Latin rōstrum "beak, rostrum"; crībrum "sieve" (see cribriform); obstāculum obstacle; stabulum stable entry 1.

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of acetabulum was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near acetabulum

Cite this Entry

“Acetabulum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/acetabulum. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition

acetabulum

noun
ac·​e·​tab·​u·​lum -ˈtab-yə-ləm How to pronounce acetabulum (audio)
plural acetabulums or acetabula -lə How to pronounce acetabulum (audio)
1
: the cup-shaped socket in the hip bone
2
: a sucker of an invertebrate (as a trematode or leech)
acetabular adjective

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