fren·​u·​lum | \ ˈfren-yə-ləm How to pronounce frenulum (audio) \
plural frenula\ ˈfren-​yə-​lə How to pronounce frenula (audio) \

Definition of frenulum

1 : a connecting fold of membrane serving to support or restrain a part (such as the tongue)
2 : a bristle or group of bristles on the front edge of the posterior wings of some lepidoptera that unites the wings by interlocking with a catch on the posterior part of the forewings

Examples of frenulum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To correct the problem, doctors snip the frenulum underneath the tongue to release it. Christina Caron, New York Times, "Is Tongue-Tie Surgery Necessary for Breastfeeding Success?," 16 Apr. 2020 The surgery can be necessary for infants when the lingual frenulum, the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth, is too tight, restricting the tongue's movement. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "Most babies referred for tongue-tie surgeries to breastfeed unnecessary, study says," 15 July 2019 Honold had sustained extensive injuries—one of which Linda Walther, the nurse who examined her at the hospital, had never seen before: a torn labial frenulum, which connects the inside of the upper lip to the gums. Barbara Bradley Hagerty, The Atlantic, "The Campus Rapist Hiding in Plain Sight," 15 July 2019 His frenulum — the ridge of tissue attaching the gums to the flesh of the lips and chin — was torn. Jane Wester, charlotteobserver, "No 'child is safe' in man's presence, prosecutor says. The judge lowered his bond. | Charlotte Observer," 22 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frenulum

New Latin, diminutive of Latin frenum

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Time Traveler for frenulum

Time Traveler

The first known use of frenulum was circa 1706

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Statistics for frenulum

Last Updated

13 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frenulum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for frenulum


fren·​u·​lum | \ ˈfren-yə-ləm How to pronounce frenulum (audio) \
plural frenula\ -​lə How to pronounce frenula (audio) \

Medical Definition of frenulum

: a connecting fold of membrane serving to support or restrain a part (as the tongue)

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