American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The middle part of the human foot that forms the instep and includes the five bones between the toes and the ankle.
- n. The corresponding part of the hind foot in quadrupeds or of the foot in birds.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The middle segment of the three of which the foot, or third division of the hind limb, consists, considered with special reference to its bony structure. It is the part of the foot between the tarsus and the toes, in man corresponding closely with the instep, and composed of five bones. (See cut under
foot.) In a horse it is the part of the hind leg between the hock and the fetlock, and has but one functional bone. In birds it is the part popularly called the shank, and in descriptive ornithology known as the tarsus. In most birds the metatarsus is naked and scaly, and extends from the bases of the toes to the suffrage or first joint above. It usually consists of a single stout bone, representing three metatarsals fused together, and further complicated by the fusion of distal tarsal elements with its proximal end. In birds with four toes the metatarsus includes a small separate bone known as the accessory metatarsal, which is the metatarsal bone of the hallux or hind toe, the metatarsus hallucis.
- n. In entomology: The first one of the joints of the tarsus, when it is large or otherwise distinguished from the rest, which are then called collectively the dactylus. Also called
planta, in which case the other joints are collectively known as the digitus. The peculiarly expanded and bristly metatarsus or planta of bees is known as the scapula.
- n. With some authors, the hind foot; the entire tarsus of each hind leg; each of the third pair of tarsi. When this nomenclature is used, the tarsus of the middle leg is called
mesotarsusand that of the fore leg protarsus.
- n. The sixth joint of a spider's leg, being the first of the two which form the foot.
- n. The part of the foot between the toes and the ankle, especially its five bones.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Anat.) That part of the skeleton of the hind or lower limb between the tarsus and phalanges; metatarse. It consists, in the human foot, of five bones. See
- n. the skeleton of the human foot between the toes and the tarsus; the corresponding part of the foot in birds or of the hind foot in quadrupeds
- From New Latin metatarsus, from meta + tarsus. (Wiktionary)
“If the proximal end of the metatarsus were broken off (and this bit is the giveaway, as it of course shows the presence of tarsals charactestically mammalian in form and number), I suspect that even some experienced zoologists would be fooled into misidentifying a jerboa metatarsus as an avian one.”
“Feet and toes, the glandular system, the gastro-abdominal system, the lymphatic system, the pituitary gland, the synovial fluids, the tarsus and metatarsus bones, the thalamus, mucus, genes.”
“This is because the size of the foot is an essential characteristic of the species, for no animal has the tarsus and metatarsus combined so small as man; hence the uprightness of his gait: he is a plantigrade.”
“Feet black, webbed, the membrane being deeply notched, great toe articulated to the metatarsus.”
“The external plantar nerve, passing along the inner side of the corresponding artery, sends branches to supply the outer toe and adjacent side of the next, and then passes, with the artery, between the deep common flexor tendon and the metatarsus, to be distributed to the deep plantar muscles.”
“The thigh bone corresponds to the humerus; the tibia and fibula to the ulna and radius; the ankle to the wrist; and the metatarsus and the phalanges of the foot, to the metacarpus and the phalanges of the hand.”
“The injuries to the _metatarsus_ corresponded so nearly to those already spoken of in the case of the metacarpus that they need no further mention.”
“It should be added that for 'explosive' features to reach their strongest development, it is necessary that the bone affected should lie near the surface of the body; hence the most characteristic explosive wounds were met with in the forearm or leg, over the metacarpus or metatarsus, or in the arm.”
“The hock is said to be curbed when the normal appearance, viewed from the side, is that of bulging posteriorly at any point between the summit of the calcaneum and the upper third of the metatarsus.”
“-- The theca through which the deep digital flexor (perforans) plays in the tarsal region, begins about three inches above the inner tibial malleolus and extends about one-fourth of the way down the metatarsus.”
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