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Noun, plural patellas or patellae

Also know as the kneecap or kneepan.

1. a thick flat triangular movable bone that forms the anterior point of the knee, protects the front of the joint, increases the leverage of the quadriceps, and is usually regarded as a sesamoid bone since it is developed in the tendon of the quadriceps and in structure is similar to other sesamoid bones. (

2. The sesamoid bone of the knee; the kneecap. (

3. A dish-shaped anatomical formation. (

Word origin: From Latin patella “pan, kneecap,” diminutive of patina “pan”. So called from its shape.

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