fore·​limb ˈfȯr-ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio)
: a limb (such as an arm, wing, fin, or leg) that is situated anteriorly
the forelimb of a bat

Examples of forelimb in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For Megalosaurus itself, Benson recognized parts of the jaw, skull, forelimbs, hindlimbs, ribs and vertebrate that could confidently be deemed Megalosaurus, providing at least a rough look at the dinosaur’s skeleton. Riley Black, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Feb. 2024 These were found on distal forelimbs of certain species like Caudipteryx, serving as proto-wings that were too small to use for flight, as well as around the tip of the tail as plumage. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 6 Feb. 2024 Short forelimbs and longer hind limbs help the leopards leap up to 50 feet in length. Jack Knudson, Discover Magazine, 6 Feb. 2024 The skull consists of a raptorial-like beak without teeth, while its forelimbs end in long fingers with scimitar-like claws. Jeanne Timmons, Ars Technica, 16 Aug. 2023 Whereas humans' fingers are fused into hands in the womb with cells that die off before birth, dolphins' flippers are formed by cells that accumulate around their forelimb bones, per Cooper. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 12 Dec. 2023 Some early species used their forelimbs to explore their surroundings, and prior to this study, scientists were unsure when seals and their relatives began using their whiskers to forage. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 17 Aug. 2023 Take an In-Depth Look at What Dinosaurs Really Looked Like Wing Development Changes in the forelimbs and wings normally drove avialan development, not the hind legs – yet the new find shows that evolution of the group took at least one major detour. Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 14 Sep. 2023 Like a living biplane, Microraptor boasted two sets of wings — that’s four in total, one each on its hind and forelimbs. Cody Cottier, Discover Magazine, 14 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of forelimb was circa 1796

Dictionary Entries Near forelimb

Cite this Entry

“Forelimb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


fore·​limb -ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio)
: an arm, fin, wing, or leg that is one of a front pair of limbs or corresponds to one

Medical Definition


fore·​limb -ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio)
: a limb (as an arm, fin, wing, or leg) that is situated anteriorly

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