oxford views updated May 14 2018
lig·a·ment / ˈligəmənt/ •
n. Anat. a short band of tough, flexible, fibrous connective tissue that connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint. ∎ a membranous fold that supports an organ and keeps it in position. ∎ any similar connecting or binding structure. ∎ archaic a bond of union.DERIVATIVES: lig·a·men·tal / ˌligəˈmentl/ adj.lig·a·men·ta·ry / ˌligəˈment(ə)rē/ adj.lig·a·men·tous / ˌligəˈmentəs/ adj.ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Latin ligamentum ‘bond,’ from ligare ‘to bind.’
oxford views updated Jun 27 2018
From the Latin for a bond or tie. A sheet or band of tough, inelastic, fibrous connective tissue
. Around joints
, ligaments form a cuff or ‘capsule’, along with additional strengthening bands outside it (e.g. spanning the sides of the knee
), or they link the ends of the bones inside a joint (e.g. the cruciate ligaments
, joining the tibia and femur in the knee joint). The edges or ends of such ligaments are fused with the relevant bones. (Not to be confused with tendons
, which extend skeletal muscles
to their attachments.) Supports in other sites include the broad ligament
for the uterus and Fallopian tubes
, which attaches them to the pelvic wall, and the suspensory ligaments
for a variety of organs (e.g. eyeball, breast, penis).
See also connective tissue
oxford views updated May 17 2018
ligament (lig-ă-mĕnt) n. 1.
a tough band of white fibrous connective tissue
that links two bones together at a joint. Ligaments are inelastic but flexible; they strengthen the joint and limit its movements to certain directions. 2.
a sheet of peritoneum that supports or links together abdominal organs.
oxford views updated Jun 11 2018
A resilient but flexible band of tissue (chiefly collagen
) that holds two or more bones together at a movable joint
. Ligaments restrain the movement of bones at a joint and are therefore important in preventing dislocation.
oxford views updated May 18 2018
Bands of tough fibrous connective tissue
that join bone to bone at the joints. Ligaments, which contain the tough protein collagen
, form part of the supporting tissues of the body.
oxford views updated Jun 08 2018
short band of animal tissue XIV; ligature XVI. — L. ligāmentum
, f. ligāre
bind, tie; see -MENT
oxford views updated May 11 2018
A band of tissue that holds together adjacent bones in a vertebrate and valves
in an invertebrate.