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 Migrant families traveling with minor children who are not processed under Title 42 are generally released with court notices, sometimes with tracking devices, such as ankle monitors. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 15 Apr. 2022 Balanchine’s ballets came with the risk of foot and ankle injury, while the leaps and bounds more common under Mr. Baryshnikov were more threatening to the hips and knees. New York Times, 13 Apr. 2022 The Knicks have also been without Nerlens Noel (left foot), Cam Reddish (right shoulder), Derrick Rose (right ankle) and Kemba Walker. Noah Trister, Hartford Courant, 9 Apr. 2022 Woods also suffered injuries to the bones in his right foot and ankle, which were stabilized using screws and pins, and to muscle and soft-tissue in the leg. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2022 Additional injuries to the bones of the foot and ankle were stabilized with a combination of screws and pins. Zack Sharf, Variety, 5 Apr. 2022 The fracture was confirmed by Dr. Robert Anderson, a foot and ankle specialist in Wisconsin. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 2 Apr. 2022 Third-string center Udoka Azubuike underwent foot and ankle surgery last week, and will miss the rest of the regular season and playoffs. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 27 Mar. 2022 Curry, who has a history of foot and ankle issues, got caught under Marcus Smart, who dived for a loose ball in the second quarter. Gary Washburn,, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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ankle biter

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ankle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for ankle


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)

More from Merriam-Webster on ankle

Nglish: Translation of ankle for Spanish Speakers

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


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