Definition of metacarpal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmedəˈkärpəl/


1Any of the five bones of the hand.
Example sentences
  • There are eight carpal bones in the wrist, five metacarpals, and 14 nonsesamoid bones that comprise the phalanges.
  • The needle enters just proximal to the first metacarpal on the extensor surface.
  • Radiographs showed no fracture of the wrist, metacarpals or other bones.
1.1Any of the bones in an animal’s forelimb equivalent to the metacarpals.
Example sentences
  • This specimen consists of a nearly complete tail, the right forelimb complete through the metacarpals, both sternal plates, and both ischia.
  • ‘His eye was caught by a particular bone - a metacarpal, the equivalent to one of the long bones in the palm of the hand,’ said John Smith, the curator of geology at the Museum of Science.
  • Previously, Tate had referred Coelops species to the subfamily Coelopinae on the basis of characters of the tail, pinna, noseleaf, metacarpals, and four craniodental features.


Relating to the metacarpals.
Example sentences
  • At the wrist, branches of the radial artery include the dorsal carpal and first dorsal metacarpal arteries.
  • A small separate slip may extend from the pisiform bone to a metacarpal bone, forming the pisimetacarpeus muscle.
  • The tendons may be attached to the second and third metacarpal bones.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: met·a·car·pal

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