fore·​limb | \ ˈfȯr-ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio) \

Definition of forelimb

: 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 Taking cues from the anatomy of pterosaurs, which are real creatures that lived millions of years ago, Game of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin instead imagined his fictional dragons to have four limbs: two wings for forelimbs and two hind legs. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "Unusual toothy pterosaur found hidden in the wrong group," 26 Nov. 2019 An earlier fossil found in South Africa revealed an adult from this group with its forelimb surrounding multiple juveniles, in what looks like a protective posture. Tim Vernimmen, National Geographic, "Prehistoric parenting goes back even further than we thought," 23 Dec. 2019 Longer than an ocean liner and powered by strong forelimbs for grabbing unsuspecting creatures, the monster also had a graceful, feline-esque shape with shoulder blades above its spine and a long tail. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The science of Star Wars: How filmmakers made alien creatures believable," 19 Dec. 2019 Emtech, a 3-year-old colt, had two broken front forelimbs, track owners the Stronach Group said in a news release. Steve Almasy, CNN, "Santa Anita Park has first horse death of fall meet, 32nd since last December," 28 Sep. 2019 So biologist Joel Hutson and geologist Kelda Hutson compared the forelimb mechanics of alligators with fossils from Postosuchus—a relative of early dinosaurs and an ancestor of alligators and crocodiles—to learn more about joint mobility. Sarah Lewin Frasier, Scientific American, "Did Dinosaurs Walk on Their Fingertips at One Point?," 1 June 2015 The experts believe Hesperornithoides would have been covered with feathers, including long feathers on its forelimbs, effectively forming small wings. John Pickrell, National Geographic, "Meet Lori, a tiny dinosaur that may help explain how birds evolved flight," 10 July 2019 The creatures in the traps are sirens: eel-like salamanders with big feathery gills, pairs of tiny forelimbs and slightly vacant expressions. Asher Elbein, Washington Post, "An unintended consequence of more fencing at the border? It might make it harder to identify a new salamander species.," 18 June 2019 Our hands came from the forelimbs of land vertebrates, which derived from the pectoral fins of fish. Frans De Waal, Discover Magazine, "Cheerful Chimps: Are Animals Really Happy When They Smile?," 31 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'forelimb.' 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 forelimb

circa 1796, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for forelimb

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The first known use of forelimb was circa 1796

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Statistics for forelimb

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Forelimb.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for forelimb


fore·​limb | \ ˈfȯr-ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio) \

Kids Definition of forelimb

: an arm, fin, wing, or leg that is located toward the front of the body


fore·​limb | \ -ˌlim How to pronounce forelimb (audio) \

Medical Definition of forelimb

: a limb (as an arm, fin, wing, or leg) that is situated anteriorly

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More from Merriam-Webster on forelimb

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for forelimb

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with forelimb Encyclopedia article about forelimb

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