Definition of acetabulum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌasɪˈtabjʊləm/

noun (plural acetabula /ˌasɪˈtabjʊlə/)

1 Anatomy The socket of the hip bone, into which the head of the femur fits.
Example sentences
  • The articulation between the head of the femur and the acetabulum form the hip joint.
  • In this operation both the head of the femur and the acetabulum are replaced (total hip arthroplasty).
  • The acetabulum is also the socket for the head of the femur.
2 Zoology Any cup-shaped structure, especially a sucker.
Example sentences
  • Both the meridional muscle bundles and the circular muscle bundles of the acetabulum will, upon contraction, decrease the circumference and thereby increase the thickness of the acetabular wall.
  • These muscles originate on a connective tissue layer that surrounds the arm musculature and extend down to converge on the sucker and insert on the outer connective tissue capsule of the acetabulum at the level of the sphincter muscle.
  • The muscle volume has to go somewhere, so the circumference of the cup-shaped acetabulum has to increase, increasing the volume of the acetabular chamber.



Example sentences
  • In addition, a series of circumferential muscle bundles are present in the acetabular wall.
  • The most commonly used prostheses are metal femoral components with plastic acetabular cups.
  • The transverse acetabular ligament connects the bony portions to complete the rim of the socket.


Late Middle English (denoting a vinegar cup, hence a cup-shaped cavity): from Latin, from acetum 'vinegar' + -abulum, denoting a container.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: acet|abu¦lum

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