Definition of navicular in English:



archaic, technical
  • Boat-shaped.

    • ‘The navicular surface is smaller and more triangular.’


  • 1A boat-shaped bone in the ankle or wrist, especially that in the ankle, between the talus and the cuneiform bones.

    • ‘The tarsals of giraffes consist of only four bones: calcaneum, astragulus, fused navicular and cuboid, fused cuneiforms.’
    • ‘All fractures of the navicular bone resulted in an absence of more than 4 weeks, and in some cases even of many months.’
    • ‘Several authors have attempted to identify persons who are at increased risk of navicular stress fracture.’
    • ‘The right patella and left tarsal navicular show osteochondritis.’
    • ‘Bone tenderness over the navicular bone or base of the fifth metatarsal is an indication for radiographs to rule out fracture of the foot.’
    • ‘The insertion may ascend on the lateral face of the radius or may be extended distally to the navicular, trapezium, or base of the third metacarpal bone.’
    • ‘Metatarsal and navicular fractures may require short leg casting for six to eight weeks unless comminuted or displaced.’
    • ‘This anatomic impingement is even more significant in light of the vascular anatomy of the navicular bone.’
    • ‘An examination a year later showed he had broken the navicular bone in his foot.’
    • ‘These rules call for palpation of the proximal fifth metatarsal and navicular in patients with acute ankle injuries and midfoot pain.’
    • ‘The metatarsal and the navicular bones were the most commonly involved.’
    • ‘The team then scrutinized naviculars of A. afarensis, H. habilis, chimpanzees and gorillas.’
    • ‘Tarsal navicular stress fractures were first described in 1958 in a study of racing greyhounds.’
    • ‘Up to 14 percent of the general population has an extra bone, the most common of which is the tarsal navicular (which is in the arch).’
    • ‘Various factors contribute to the common delay in diagnosis of navicular stress fractures.’
    • ‘However, if the discomfort localizes over the navicular bone, further immobilization or surgical intervention may be indicated.’
    • ‘If you ask me to name the bones of the wrist, I can tell you that the ‘N’ stands for navicular, and the ‘L' stands for lunate.’
    • ‘It is attached to the cuboid by an interosseous ligament and to the cuboid and navicular bones by the strong bifurcate ligament.’
    • ‘Therapeutic intervention in navicular stress fractures has been clearly defined.’
    • ‘X-rays revealed a broken navicular bone in my left foot.’
  • 2mass noun A chronic disorder of the navicular bone in horses, causing lameness in the front feet.

    • ‘‘As with all performance horses, arthritis and navicular can be a problem,’ Kim explained, saying she relies on her farrier and vet to work together to keep Parker healthy.’
    • ‘Navicular syndrome is one of several conditions leading to heel soreness or lameness.’
    • ‘Navicular syndrome is usually a chronic bilateral foreleg lameness in horses of all ages.’
    • ‘In fact, navicular disease has been determined as a cause of lameness in horses as early as 1752 when the syndrome was originally described.’
    • ‘Most of the above conditions are acute causes of heel lameness with the exception of navicular syndrome.’


Late Middle English: from French naviculaire or late Latin navicularis, from Latin navicula ‘little ship’, diminutive of navis.