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 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 That’s the same ligament on which Tommy John surgery is performed. Dallas News, "Rangers relief pitcher Jose Leclerc has elbow soreness, is expected to miss ‘extended time’," 22 Mar. 2021 Romeo Langford made his season debut with the Celtics after having surgery to repair a ligament in his right wrist during the preseason. Kyle Hightower,, "Tatum, Fournier lead Celtics to rout of Hornets," 4 Apr. 2021 Villanova, which had won two of the last four national titles, had reasonable designs on another until Gillespie tore a knee ligament three weeks ago. New York Times, "Baylor Passes Biggest Test of Tournament and Oral Roberts Falters," 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

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ligament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 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

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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

Comments on ligament

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