an·​kle | \ ˈaŋ-kəl How to pronounce ankle (audio) \

Definition of ankle

1 : the joint between the foot and the leg also : the region of this joint
2 : the joint between the cannon bone and pastern (as in the horse)

Examples of ankle in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Senior quarterback Dylan Meyers, who only played three games last year due to an ankle injury, returns. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "'Protect the standard': Silver Creek football looks to extend playoff run in 2020," 13 Aug. 2020 Blazers 124, Sixers 121: Damian Lillard poured in 51 points as Portland held off Philadelphia after Joel Embiid left with an ankle injury in the first quarter. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "NBA bubble breakdown: Race for West's No. 8 seed down to four teams," 10 Aug. 2020 Before his season-ending ankle injury, Turay seemed to be on the cusp of sustained excellence. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 matchups we can’t wait to watch during Colts training camp," 9 Aug. 2020 Reserve guard Marco Belinelli returned to the rotation against Utah after missing two games with an ankle sprain. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs notebook: Poeltl takes advantage of Gobert-less Jazz," 7 Aug. 2020 Sabrina Ionescu’s rookie season in the WNBA has been derailed due to a severe ankle sprain, but the former Oregon Ducks superstar is staying optimistic. oregonlive, "Sabrina Ionescu: ‘Excited to conquer my rehab’ from ankle sprain," 6 Aug. 2020 Perhaps more interesting is how the Heat keeping pushing through with 34-year-old Goran Dragic, who practically seems rejuvenated, but also sustained an ankle injury at the close Tuesday. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Will Heat’s caution with Jimmy Butler move to Goran Dragic?," 5 Aug. 2020 Her team will lean on her even more with teammate Sabrina Ionescu out for the foreseeable future with an ankle sprain of her own. Alexa Philippou,, "UConn in the WNBA roundup: Bria Hartley’s stellar start, Sue Bird out with a bone bruise, and more updates from Week 1 of the season," 4 Aug. 2020 Guard Sabrina Ionescu, this year's No. 1 overall draft pick, suffered an ankle sprain Friday and was helped off the court. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Taurasi, Diggins-Smith lead Mercury to first win of season," 1 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ankle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ankle

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ankle

Middle English ancle, ankill, perhaps going back to an unattested Old English outcome of Germanic *ankula- (whence Old Frisian & Middle Dutch ankel "ankle," Old High German anchal) alongside *ankila- (whence 16th-century Dutch enckel "ankle," Middle Low German enkel, Old High German enchil) and *ankilōn-, *ankulōn- (whence Old High German anchla, anchala, anchila "ankle," Old Norse ǫkkla), diminutive of a base seen in *ankjōn- (whence Old High German ancha, anca "limb, nape of the neck," Old Norse ekkja "heel"), of uncertain origin

Note: Middle English ancle is often presumed to have been borrowed from a Scandinavian predecessor (with a preserved nasal consonant) of the Norse etymon attested as ǫkkla in Old Icelandic. Complicating the already complex mixture of forms given above are Middle English anclee, anclowe and their modern dialect descendants such as ancliff, ankley, which go back to Old English anclēow, anclēowe "ankle," cognate with Old Frisian onklef, anklef, Middle Dutch anclau, anclief, Old High German anchlao; these appear to show conflation with the outcomes of Germanic *klawō- "claw" (as Old English clawu, clēa "claw, hoof"; see claw entry 1). Germanic *ankula- is usually further identified with Indo-European *h2eng-(e)lo- (see angle entry 1), though the etymon could equally well be derived within Germanic from the base *ank- seen in Old High German ancha. The latter has been connected with Sanskrit áṅgam "limb, member" and aṅgúliḥ, aṅgúriḥ "finger, toe," which appears to have suffixation similar to Germanic *ankula-.

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The first known use of ankle was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ankle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for ankle


How to pronounce ankle (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ankle

: the joint where the foot joins the leg


an·​kle | \ ˈaŋ-kəl How to pronounce ankle (audio) \

Kids Definition of ankle

1 : the joint between the foot and the leg I broke my ankle.
2 : the area containing the ankle joint


an·​kle | \ ˈaŋ-kəl How to pronounce ankle (audio) \

Medical Definition of ankle

1a : the joint between the foot and the leg that constitutes in humans a ginglymus joint between the tibia and fibula above and the talus below

called also ankle joint

b : the region of the ankle joint
2 : the joint between the cannon bone and pastern (as in the horse)

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More from Merriam-Webster on ankle

Spanish Central: Translation of ankle

Nglish: Translation of ankle for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ankle for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ankle

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