pel·​vis | \ ˈpel-vəs How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \
plural pelvises\ ˈpel-​və-​səz How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \ or pelves\ ˈpel-​ˌvēz How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \

Definition of pelvis

1 : a basin-shaped structure in the skeleton of many vertebrates that is formed by the pelvic girdle and adjoining bones of the spine During puberty, the shape of the pelvis begins to take on distinctly male or female features …— Christopher Joyce and Eric Stover Dysfunction can occur with uneven distribution of weight on the pelvis, a common and usually benign condition that can be exacerbated by running.— Carol Potera also : pelvic cavity Endometriosis is the presence of functioning endometrial tissue outside the endometrial cavity, but usually confined to the pelvis— Daniel W. Cramer et al.
2 : the cavity of the pelvis

Examples of pelvis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Paramedics rushed the pedestrian, a 55-year-old man who suffered a fractured pelvis, to a hospital, San Diego police said. City News Service, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Dec. 2021 The crash injured her head and neck and fractured her pelvis and four vertebrae, requiring spinal fusion surgery. Ricardo Cano, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Nov. 2021 Jessalyn’s pelvis was broken, her skull fractured and her liver and kidneys lacerated, family members said. New York Times, 23 Nov. 2021 After multiple excavations, paleontologists were able to recover about 40 percent of the skeleton, including the skull and jaw bones, several vertebrae, the pelvis and both hind legs. Dennis Pillion |, al, 10 Nov. 2021 Some examples include: a marginal driver chest injury the Encore; inadequate head-protecting airbags for the Rogue; and heightened injury measures for the driver’s pelvis for the RAV4. Tanya Mohn, Forbes, 31 Oct. 2021 He got hit multiple times, in his legs, pelvis and abdomen. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 Slone sustained a broken pelvis, a compressed spinal cord, and other injuries that caused chronic pain and put him in a wheelchair. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 25 Nov. 2021 Among those injured was 11-year-old Jessalyn Torres, a member of the Xtreme Dance Team who was left with a broken pelvis, skull fracture and lacerations on her lungs. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Nov. 2021

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

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pelvis

New Latin, from Latin, basin; perhaps akin to Old English & Old Norse full cup

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Last Updated

10 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pelvis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for pelvis



English Language Learners Definition of pelvis

: the wide curved bones between the spine and the leg bones


pel·​vis | \ ˈpel-vəs How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \

Kids Definition of pelvis

: the bowl-shaped part of the skeleton that includes the hip bones and the lower bones of the backbone


pel·​vis | \ ˈpel-vəs How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \
plural pelvises\ -​və-​səz How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \ or pelves\ -​ˌvēz How to pronounce pelvis (audio) \

Medical Definition of pelvis

1 : a basin-shaped structure in the skeleton of many vertebrates that is formed by the pelvic girdle together with the sacrum and often various coccygeal and caudal vertebrae and that in humans is composed of the two hip bones bounding it on each side and in front while the sacrum and coccyx complete it behind

More from Merriam-Webster on pelvis

Nglish: Translation of pelvis for Spanish Speakers

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


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