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Anatomy Atlases: Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Part IV: OrganSystem: Glossary of Terms

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Human Anatomic Variation: Opus V: Skeletal System

Glossary of Terms

Ronald A. Bergman, PhD
Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Ryosuke Miyauchi, MD

Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Their origin and definition related to the Skeleton.

The following abbreviations are used: G., Greek, and L., Latin.

A| B| C| D| E| F| G | H| I | J | K | L| M | N| O| P| Q | R| S| T| U| V| W | X| Y | Z

A

Acromion
(G. akron, tip, + omos, shoulder). The tip of the shoulder.
Alar
(L. ala, wing) A wing-like structure.
Arm
(L.armus, fore-quarter of an animal; G. harmos, a shoulder joint). The segment of the upper limb between the shoulder and elbow. The term brachium (L., G. brachion) is preferred usage.
Aspera
(L. asper, rough). The roughened surface of a bone.
Astragalus
(L.,G. astragalus, ball of the ankle joint, dice). The talus.
Atlas
(G. Atlas, from Greek mythology, a Titan who supported the world on his shoulders). First cervical vertebra.
Axis
(L. axis, axle; G. axon, axis). The odontoid or toothed vertebra. The second cervical vertebra, about which the head rotates.

B

Bifid
(L. bifidus, cleft into two parts). Referring to a bone that is more or less split or cleft.

C

Carpal
(G. carpus, wrist). The eight bones of the wrist proximal to the hand.
Cervical
(L. cervix, neck) Relating to the neck and to the "neck" of any structure (bone or soft tissue).
Clavicle
(L. clavicula, a small key). The collar bone, os clavicula.
Cleido-
(G. Kleis, clavicle). Relating to the clavicle.
Clinoid
(G. kline, bed, + eidos, form). Bed-shaped or resembling a bed.
Coccyx
(G. kokkyx, a cuckoo, whose bill the bony structure is said to resemble). Os coccygis.
Conchae
(L. concha, shell). Turbinate bones of the nose.
Condyle
(L. condylus; G. kondylos, knuckle). Rounded articular surface of a bone extremity.
Costo-
(L. costa, rib). Referring to the ribs.
Cubitis
(L. cubitus, elbow). Pertaining to the joint between the arm and forearm.

D

Dens
(L. dens, tooth) Referring to the tooth-like structure of the axis, upon which the axis rotates.
Dorsal
(L. dorsalis, from dorsum, back). Term once used for notation of vertebra in the thoracic region, e.g., first dorsal vertebra.

E

Epistropheus
(G. epistropheus, the pivot). Second cervical vertebra.
Ethmoid
(G. ethmos, sieve). Relating to the os ethmoidale. A sieve-like structure, cribriforme.

F

Femur
(L. femur, thigh). The thigh bone.
Fibula
(L. fibula, a clasp or buckle). A bone of the leg. The smaller and more lateral of the two bones of the leg.
Fissura
(L. findere, to cleave). A fissure or deep cleft.
Foramen
(L. forare, to pierce). An aperture.
Frontal
(L. frons, front). Referring to the frontal bone.

H

Hemi-
(G. hemi, half). A prefix indicating half of a structure.
Humerus
(L. humerus, shoulder). Referring to the bone of the brachium or arm (between shoulder and elbow).
Hyoid
(G. hyoeides, shaped like the Greek letter upsilon). A "U"- or "V"-shaped structure. The os hyoideum.

L

Lacrimal
(L. Lacrima, a tear) Relating to tears, their secretion, organ, and bone involved therewith. The os lacrimale.
Lumbar
(L. lumbus, a loin). Referring to the region or those vertebrae located between the thorax and pelvis.
Lunato-
(L. lunatus, semilunar). Pertaining to the os lunatum of the hand and foot.

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M

Mandible
(L. mandibula, a jaw). The jaw bone.
Manubrium
(L. mandibulum, handle). The bone of the upper or superior part of the sternum.
Mastoid
(G. mastos, breast, + eidos, resemblance). Mastoid process of temporal bone.
Maxillary
(L. maxilla, jaw bone). Relating to the upper jawbone or cheek.

N

Nasal
(L. nasus, nose) Os nasale.

O

Occipital
(L. occiput, back of the head). Os occipitale.
Odontoideum
(G. odous, a tooth, + eidos, form). See dens.
Olecranon
(G. olene, ulna + kranion). Curved, pointed proximal end of the ulna.
Omo-
(G. omos, shoulder). Related to the shoulder.
Orbital
(L. orbita, a circle). Referring to the cavity formed from parts of seven bones.
Os
(L. os, bone). Referring to a bone.

P

Palatine
(L. palatum, palate). Os palatum.
Parietal
(L. pares, wall). The wall of any cavity. Os parietale.
Patella
(L. patina, a small shallow disk). The kneecap. The large sesamoid bone in the tendon of the extensors of the leg.
Pelvis
(L., G. pyelos, an oblong trough, basin). Ring of bones at the lower end of the trunk.
Petrosus
( L. petrous, rock-like; G. petra, stone). Petrous part of temporal bone.
Phalanx
(L. from G. phalanx, line of soldiers). Bones of the fingers and toes.
Pterygo-
(G. pteryx, wing) A wing-like structure.

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R

Radius
(L. radius, spoke of a wheel, a rod). The shorter and more lateral of the two bones of the forearm.

S

Sacrum
(L. sacrum, sacred bone). Os sacrum. So-named because it was believed to resist natural disintegration after death and to serve as the basis for the resurrected body.
Scapula
(L. scapula, shoulder blade; G. skaptein, to dig) The shoulder blade.
Sinus
(L. sinus, cavity, channel, hollow) A cavity in a bone, e.g., frontal sinus.
Sphenoid
(G. sphen, wedge, + eidos, resemblance). Os sphenoidale.
Squamous
(L. squama, scale or plate-like structure). Squama of temporal bone, for example.
Sternum
(G. sternon, the chest). The breast bone consisting of the manubrium, body, and xiphoid process.
Styloid
(G. stylos, pillar or post). Styloid process of temporal bone.
Supra-
(L. supra, above). Prefix denoting a position above the named structure that follows it, e.g., suprasternal bones.
Suture
(L. sutura, a seam, from suere, to sew). A specific type of joint between two bones.

T

Tarsal
(G. tarsos, sole of foot). Any tarsal bone.
Temporal
(L. tempus, time or temple) Temporal bone.
Thoracic
(G. thorax, breastplate, the chest) Referring to the chest formed of twelve vertebrae, 12 ribs, and sternum.

U

Ulna
(L., G. olene, elbow). The elbow bone. The larger and more medial of the two bones of the forearm.

V

Vertebra
(L. vertebra, joint; verto, to turn). In humans, one of the 33 bony segments of the spinal column.
Volar
(L. vola, a concave or hollow surface). Pertaining to the palm or sole. The flexor surface of the forearm, wrist, and/or hand.
Vomer
(L. vomer, ploughshare). A flat, thin bone forming the nasal septum.

X

Xiphoid
(G. xiphos, sword + eidos, resemblance). Sword-shaped distal segment of the sternum; ensiform.

Z

Zygomatic
(G. zygoma, a bar or bolt). Os zygomaticum.

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For my career and his; boundless admiration for my graduate advisor and teacher, at the University of Illinois, Department of Physiology, Champaign-Urbana, 1950-1955.

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