Definition of ankle in English:



  • 1The joint connecting the foot with the leg.

    ‘Jennie fell downstairs, breaking her ankle’
    [as modifier] ‘an ankle injury’
    • ‘On Sunday I saw that he had all the same symptoms as Vicky had - swollen ankles, sickness and pains in his abdomen.’
    • ‘The knee, ankle, spine, leg, and groin were the most common injury locations.’
    • ‘Brady suffered a traumatic brain injury and injuries to her left shoulder, left arm, back, neck, knee, ankle, pelvis and ribs.’
    • ‘The load fell on the young worker's legs causing serious injury to the right ankle and left foot.’
    • ‘The company doctor tells him that he'll be laid up for months with a severe ankle and foot injury.’
    • ‘How accurate are the Ottawa rules for ankle and foot injuries?’
    • ‘I had a sprained ankle at the time and couldn't run.’
    • ‘Fortunately, the disease only affects my left side - hip, knee and ankle.’
    • ‘She winced as the cuts, bruises and sprained ankle she had got as a parting gift from her former employer complained loudly.’
    • ‘During this interval there is rapid plantar flexion of the ankle joint due to concentric contraction of the triceps surae muscle.’
    • ‘Gil had a sprained ankle, and Wooten underwent surgery on his right thumb in March.’
    • ‘The protective high top slows down ankles as it prevents them from getting re-injured.’
    • ‘He happens to have a sprained ankle - wrapped in a brace - that won't heal because he won't stop riding.’
    • ‘Wrist, arm or ankle fractures account for 50 percent of injuries.’
    • ‘These two bones together link the leg to the foot at the ankle joint, although it is the tibia which carries all the weight.’
    • ‘I'd been walking on the bad ankle a lot tonight, and it was definitely letting me know.’
    • ‘He played as long as he could despite two sprained ankles that got worse with every game.’
    • ‘Lateral ligament injuries to the ankle joint are common among athletes.’
    • ‘She didn't even bother looking at him. Her ankle still throbbed from her previous fall and her favourite dress was now in tatters.’
    • ‘She leapt to her feet and immediately had to jump to avoid a swipe of her master's pole that would have broken both her ankles had it connected.’
    1. 1.1The narrow part of the leg between the ankle joint and the calf.
      ‘her slim ankles’
      • ‘Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor and your calf straight above your ankle; your back leg should be almost to the floor.’
      • ‘Mid calf or longer skirts even to ankle was the norm.’
      • ‘Ilse tried not to concentrate on that, but try as she might, the delicate wrists and ankles, shapely calves and round arms spoke to her.’
      • ‘The pump fills the sleeves with air and gently squeezes the leg, squeezing from ankle to calf to thigh.’
      • ‘Thick leather straps went around ankles, and thighs, holding her legs tight to the stone, forcing them WIDE apart.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, people visiting the South Bank on a rainy day sink up to their ankles in puddles and steam through an indistinct symphony.’
      • ‘Even the prospect of getting my trousers soaked in freezing rain from mid thigh to ankle doesn't put me off.’
      • ‘I was in the swamp… the very swamp that I had seen in the book… and I was up to my ankles in mud.’
      • ‘He removed her shoes and socks, running his hands over the warm skin on her ankles and calves.’
      • ‘I started cutting not only my upper left arm, I started cutting my wrists, stomach, thighs, ankles and neck.’
      • ‘Today the Sun touches me everywhere, ankles, calves, thighs, arms; and striking through my hair warms me more than if I wore a linen shift and wool gown.’
      • ‘The bank sloped gradually and the water tickled her ankles, calves, thighs, and then waist with its warm tongue.’
      • ‘He adds that he is handcuffed, shackled, and chained at the waist, which has rubbed his wrists and ankles raw.’
      • ‘He stood between her legs and casually played with her feet and calves, holding her ankles, running his fingertips up the backs of her legs.’
      • ‘If you don't like a normal, strong side hip carry, then try something like a shoulder rig, ankle or pocket holster.’
      • ‘They all want to be the first to have a full body suit: that is, to be covered from neck to ankle in tattoos.’
      • ‘He concentrated only on the image of cool fresh water, rising through his narrow ankles and lapping inside his shins.’
      • ‘They tattoo their hands, arms, calves, ankles and I even saw one girl with a tattoo on her neck.’
      • ‘He has his diamonds and ankle weights on and he's going for a jog.’
      • ‘I stood in the center of the room, up to my ankles in cool ferns.’


  • 1US informal [with adverbial of direction] Walk.

    ‘we can ankle off to a new locale’
    • ‘We both ankled out of the theatre once Udo Kier was up there making love.’
    • ‘Being sensible people, we ankled in and got a table.’
    1. 1.1[with object]Leave.
      ‘he ankled the series to do a movie’
      • ‘Kirk Douglas had originally been cast as Trautman, but he ankled the project when the producers refused to cave in to Douglas' demand that Trautman kill Rambo in the finale.’
      • ‘Fox Broadcasting marketing chief Roberta Mell has ankled her post.’
      • ‘John Willis has ankled his post as Granada Medias managing director for worldwide production.’
  • 2Flex the ankles while cycling in order to increase pedalling efficiency.

    ‘changing my pedalling style from toeing to ankling’
    • ‘Can someone please help me to understand "ankling" and whether it is a desirable way to pedal, i.e. does ankling provide a more "rounded" pedal stroke?’
    • ‘Ankling is an effective pedaling technique on level roads and slopes when riding at an average speed of around 20 km/h.’
    • ‘A method of pedaling known as 'ankling', or Anquetil's method, was popular in the 1960's and was thought to be the solution to cycling efficiency.’
    • ‘Achilles tendon problems often result from "ankling" during the pedal stroke.’


Old English ancleow, of Germanic origin; superseded in Middle English by forms from Old Norse; related to Dutch enkel and German Enkel, from an Indo-European root shared by angle.