1

hamstring

noun ham·string \ ˈham-ˌstriŋ \
|Updated on: 7 Aug 2018

Definition of hamstring

1 a : either of two groups of tendons at the back of the human knee
b : any of three muscles at the back of the thigh that function to flex and rotate the leg and extend the thigh
2 : a large tendon above and behind the hock of a quadruped

Recent Examples of hamstring from the Web

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

First Known Use of hamstring

1565

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

2

hamstring

verb

Definition of hamstring

hamstrung play \ˈham-ˌstrəŋ\; hamstringing play \ˈham-ˌstriŋ-iŋ\
1 : to make ineffective or powerless : cripple
  • hamstrung by guilt
2 : to cripple by cutting the leg tendons

Examples of hamstring in a Sentence

  1. The mayor tried to hamstring our efforts by cutting the budget.

  2. The company claims it is being hamstrung by government regulations.

Recent Examples of hamstring from the Web

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

First Known Use of hamstring

1641

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

HAMSTRING Defined for English Language Learners

hamstring

Definition of hamstring for English Language Learners

  • : a tendon at the back of a person's knee

  • : a muscle at the back of a person's upper leg


hamstring

Definition of hamstring for English Language Learners

  • : to damage or ruin the force or effectiveness of (something or someone)


Medical Dictionary

1

hamstring

noun ham·string \ ˈham-ˌstriŋ \

medical Definition of hamstring

1 a : either of two groups of tendons bounding the upper part of the popliteal space at the back of the knee and forming the tendons of insertion of some muscles of the back of the thigh
2 : a large tendon above and behind the hock of a quadruped corresponding to the human Achilles tendon

2

hamstring

transitive verb

medical Definition of hamstring

hamstrung play \-ˌstrəŋ\; hamstringing play \-ˌstriŋ-iŋ\
: to cripple by cutting the leg tendons
  • folklore has it that wolf packs try to hamstring their prey
  • —John Madson


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

having an air of easy unconcern

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Eponym Quiz

  • rubens-painting
  • Which is the best synonym of bowdlerize?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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