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.
a bond of union.
/ ˌligəˈmentl/ adj.
/ ˌligəˈment(ə)rē/ adj.
/ ˌligəˈmentəs/ adj.
ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Latin ligamentum ‘bond,’ from ligare ‘to bind.’
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
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.
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.
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.
short band of animal tissue XIV; ligature XVI. — L. ligāmentum
, f. ligāre
bind, tie; see -MENT
A band of tissue that holds together adjacent bones in a vertebrate and valves
in an invertebrate.