lig·​a·​ment | \ ˈli-gə-mənt How to pronounce ligament (audio) \

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

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Other Words from ligament

ligamentous \ ˌli-​gə-​ˈmen-​təs How to pronounce ligament (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ligament in a Sentence

He sprained ligaments in his knee.
Recent Examples on the Web The worst-case scenario was confirmed Monday when an MRI exam revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: Lakers outlast the Denver Nuggets," 4 May 2021 D’Arnaud went on the 60-day IL with a torn ligament in his left thumb and will have surgery in the next few days after getting hurt Saturday night on a tag play at the plate. Mark Didtler, ajc, "Semien, Jays sweep Braves; Springer exits with tired legs," 2 May 2021 In 2016, he was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right arm but opted not to get Tommy John surgery. Conor Roche,, "Four things to know about new Red Sox pitcher Garrett Richards," 27 Jan. 2021 Manager Jayce Tingler said Lamet, who was in his first game since straining an elbow ligament Sept. 25, is day-to-day. Chronicle News Services, San Francisco Chronicle, "Padres' Dinelson Lamet placed on injured list," 22 Apr. 2021 Kim had torn a ligament in her hand during preseason, undergoing surgery just weeks ahead of the National Women’s Soccer League season opener. Julia Poe,, "After goal-scoring debut, Orlando Pride forward Abi Kim wants more," 19 Apr. 2021 The artery can be compressed from the outside by a structure called the median arcuate ligament. Dr. Keith Roach, oregonlive, "Dear Doctor: Why do I have this pain after eating?," 17 Apr. 2021 Cousins has suffered injuries to an Achilles tendon, quadriceps and knee ligament within the last three years. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, "DeMarcus Cousins on the Clippers: Five takeaways from his signing," 5 Apr. 2021 Mata suffered a slight tear to the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow., "Triston Casas. Tanner Houck. Jarren Duran. With the Red Sox’ prospects, there’s hope on the horizon," 27 Mar. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for ligament

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ligament

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ligament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce ligament (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ligament (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ligament

Nglish: Translation of ligament for Spanish Speakers

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

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