fe·​mur | \ ˈfē-mər How to pronounce femur (audio) \
plural femurs or femora\ ˈfe-​mə-​rə How to pronounce femora (audio) , ˈfem-​rə \

Definition of femur

1 : the proximal bone of the hind or lower limb that extends from the hip to the knee

called also thighbone

2 : the segment of an insect's leg that is third from the body

Examples of femur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The dog had found a woman’s right pelvic bone and femur, officials said. Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "A good dog went digging in the backyard. What it found made the owner call the police.," 20 June 2019 And its main leg bone, or femur, in particular provided a vital clue to Scotty's size. Michael Greshko, National Geographic, "World's biggest T. rex discovered," 26 Mar. 2019 The Briton, who has also won the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana, suffered a fractured right femur, a fractured elbow and fractured ribs, said a statement on his Team Ineos website. George Ramsay, CNN, "Chris Froome to miss Tour de France after suffering 'multiple serious injuries'," 12 June 2019 Durning broke her femur and required surgery and rehabilitation. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Grand jury refuses to indict Louisville woman accused of shoving elderly abortion protester," 17 Apr. 2019 The batch of limbs from the pit bore the same smooth sawing of the stray femur Owsley and Bruwelheide had rebuilt before its discovery. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Newly Unearthed Civil War Bones Speak Silently to the Grim Aftermath of Battle," 20 June 2018 Paramedics arriving at the scene determined the man had suffered bilateral femur fractures to both legs as well as an unspecified back injury, the release said. Dom Calicchio, Fox News, "Illegal border-crosser breaks both legs after fall from top of wall, Border Patrol says," 9 Aug. 2018 The posterior approach, the main hip replacement method for many years, involves accessing the hip joint through an incision in the back of the leg – near the top of the femur. Tj Gibson, azcentral, "Looking at hip replacement differently," 5 Mar. 2018 This same study from the early 1990s noted increasing mortality for those suffering fractures at older ages, with those over the age of 90 facing 66 percent mortality in the year following proximal femur fractures. Farah Naz Khan, Vox, "Doctors are blasé about bone health and it’s leading to more broken bones in the elderly," 30 July 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of femur

circa 1726, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for femur

New Latin femor-, femur, from Latin, thigh

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about femur

Dictionary Entries near femur








Statistics for femur

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for femur

The first known use of femur was circa 1726

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for femur



English Language Learners Definition of femur

medical : the long bone in the upper part of the leg


fe·​mur | \ ˈfē-mər How to pronounce femur (audio) \
plural femurs or femora\ ˈfe-​mə-​rə \

Kids Definition of femur

: the long leg bone that extends from the hip to the knee


fe·​mur | \ ˈfē-mər How to pronounce femur (audio) \
plural femurs or femora\ ˈfem-​(ə-​)rə How to pronounce femora (audio) \

Medical Definition of femur

1 : the proximal bone of the hind or lower limb that is the longest and largest bone in the human body, extends from the hip to the knee, articulates above with the acetabulum by a rounded head connected with the shaft of the bone by an oblique neck bearing a pair of trochanters for the attachment of muscles, and articulates with the tibia below by a pair of condyles

called also thigh bone

2 : the segment of an insect's leg that is third from the body

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on femur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with femur

Spanish Central: Translation of femur

Nglish: Translation of femur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of femur for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about femur

Comments on femur

What made you want to look up femur? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!