cal·​ca·​ne·​us kal-ˈkā-nē-əs How to pronounce calcaneus (audio)
plural calcanei
: a tarsal bone that in humans is the large bone of the heel

Examples of calcaneus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Heel spurs are painful outgrowths on the heel bone (calcaneus) that cause pain, inflammation, and swelling. Stuart Hershman, Verywell Health, 27 June 2023 The usual signs and symptoms include pain on the bottom of the heel, which could present as dull, sharp, or a burning ache, either directly below the calcaneus (heel bone) or toward the front of it. Outside Online, 17 June 2019 The medical literature back then had nothing on fractures of the calcaneus, or heel bone, even though those are the most common fractures of the foot. Breanna Draxler, National Geographic, 21 Aug. 2020 On my right side, the calcaneus—the heel—was broken into at least six pieces. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, 9 May 2018 So, in space there’s a lot of bone degradation so there’s a lot of osteoporosis, especially in the calcaneus, the heel bone. Kristi Myllenbeck, The Mercury News, 7 Apr. 2017

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

Word History


Late Latin, heel, alteration of Latin calcaneum

First Known Use

1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of calcaneus was in 1657

Dictionary Entries Near calcaneus

Cite this Entry

“Calcaneus.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


cal·​ca·​ne·​us -nē-əs How to pronounce calcaneus (audio)
plural calcanei -nē-ˌī How to pronounce calcaneus (audio)
: a tarsal bone that in humans is the large bone of the heel

called also heel bone, os calcis

More from Merriam-Webster on calcaneus

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