quad·​ri·​ceps ˈkwä-drə-ˌseps How to pronounce quadriceps (audio)
plural quadriceps also quadricepses
: the greater extensor muscle of the front of the thigh that is divided into four parts

Examples of quadriceps in a Sentence

He felt a pain in his right quadriceps.
Recent Examples on the Web His scoring helped the Bulls snap a three-game losing streak and win their first game since DeMar DeRozan strained his right quadriceps last week against the Boston Celtics. Julia Poe, Chicago Tribune, 15 Jan. 2023 On Saturday, France, the defending champion, was dealt a blow when its superstar striker, Karim Benzema, was ruled out of the tournament after tearing his left quadriceps in a training session. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 McGlinchey missed the final nine games and playoffs a season ago with torn quadriceps. Vincent Frank, Forbes, 13 Aug. 2022 Then there’s Gerald McCoy, who signed a three-year, $18 million deal in 2020 and ruptured his quadriceps in training camp and never played a game. Dallas News, 11 Apr. 2022 His return follows the Monday returns of starting power forward Caleb Martin from a five-game absence with a strained left quadriceps and starting shooting guard Tyler Herro from a three-game absence due to a sore left Achilles. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 18 Jan. 2023 All-Pro dual-threat wideout Deebo Samuel will play Sunday against the Dolphins at Levi’s Stadium after he was listed as questionable with a deep quadriceps bruise that severely limited him in practice throughout the week. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Dec. 2022 Alternating side medicine ball slams are exercises that strengthen the glutes, quadriceps, middle back, lateral muscles, and abs. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2022 Houston DB Grayland Arnold injured a quadriceps in the second half and didn't return. ... Kristie Rieken, Chron, 30 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'quadriceps.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin quadricipit-, quadriceps, from quadri- + -cipit-, -ceps (as in bicipit-, biceps biceps)

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of quadriceps was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near quadriceps

Cite this Entry

“Quadriceps.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quadriceps. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


quad·​ri·​ceps ˈkwäd-rə-ˌseps How to pronounce quadriceps (audio)
: a large extensor muscle of the front of the thigh divided above into four parts which include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis, and which unite in a single tendon to enclose the patella as a sesamoid bone at the knee and insert as the patellar tendon into the tuberosity of the tibia

called also quadriceps femoris, quadriceps muscle

More from Merriam-Webster on quadriceps

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