lig·a·ment | \ˈli-gə-mənt \

Definition of ligament 

1 : a tough fibrous band of tissue connecting the articular extremities of bones or supporting an organ in place

2 : a connecting or unifying bond the law of nations, the great ligament of mankind— Edmund Burke

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ligament

ligamentous \ˌli-gə-ˈmen-təs \ adjective

Examples of ligament in a Sentence

He sprained ligaments in his knee.

Recent Examples on the Web

The left-hander sustained a torn elbow ligament injury in FSU’s season opener against Xavier that forced him to undergo surgery and miss the rest of the 2018 season. Roy Parry,, "Seattle Mariners, FSU's Cal Raleigh reach deal before deadline," 7 July 2018 Non-surgical treatment options for tendon and ligament injuries typically may involve the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroid medication or injections., "Optimum Performance: PRP - A non-surgical option for mild joint trauma," 4 May 2018 Duranne’s injuries also were serious — five separate fractures to a single foot, a torn knee ligament, a broken nose and burns from the pavement to his face and hands. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "A pickup truck barreled down on this D.C. officer, leaving him with 37 broken bones," 28 Mar. 2018 Los Angeles Angels pitcher Garrett Richards has elected to undergo Tommy John surgery for his damaged ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will miss the remainder of the season . . ., "US Olympic Committee tabs Sarah Hirshland as its CEO," 13 July 2018 Angels pitcher Garrett Richards had an MRI of his right elbow Wednesday which revelaed damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, the team announced. Charlotte Carroll,, "Angels' Garrett Richards Has Damage to His UCL, May Need Surgery," 11 July 2018 General manager Billy Eppler said Thursday that Ohtani underwent an MRI in Los Angeles that showed improvement to his ligament, clearing him to take batting practice in private. Beth Harris, Houston Chronicle, "Angels' Shohei Ohtani cleared to begin hitting after elbow shows healing," 28 June 2018 Ohtani has a Grade 2 sprain of his ulnar collateral ligament, and the Angels are trying to avert Tommy John surgery by giving Ohtani platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "A Rookie Treasures Lessons From Roy Halladay," 16 June 2018 The biggest concern may be how their knee ligaments and cartilage are holding up. Profootballdoc,, "Top 10 medical concerns in NFL draft," 26 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ligament

Middle English, from Medieval Latin & Latin; Medieval Latin ligamentum, from Latin, band, tie, from ligare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ligament

Statistics for ligament

Last Updated

7 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ligament

The first known use of ligament was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ligament



English Language Learners Definition of ligament

: a tough piece of tissue in your body that holds bones together or keeps an organ in place


lig·a·ment | \ˈli-gə-mənt \

Kids Definition of ligament

: a tough band of tissue that holds bones together or keeps an organ in place in the body


lig·a·ment | \ˈlig-ə-mənt \

Medical Definition of ligament 

1 : a tough band of tissue that serves to connect the articular extremities of bones or to support or retain an organ in place and is usually composed of coarse bundles of dense white fibrous tissue parallel or closely interlaced, pliant, and flexible, but not extensible

2 : any of various folds or bands of pleura, peritoneum, or mesentery connecting parts or organs

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ligament

Spanish Central: Translation of ligament

Nglish: Translation of ligament for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ligament for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ligament

Comments on ligament

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


not any or not one

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

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

Bee Cubed

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!