Definition of acetabulum in US English:


nounPlural acetabula

  • 1The socket of the hipbone, into which the head of the femur fits.

    • ‘Gradually the blood vessels to the hip cut off nourishment to the head of the femur where it fits into the acetabulum.’
    • ‘An x-ray is taken postoperatively to verify that the acetabulum is corrected and the acetabular fragment is secured with cortical screws.’
    • ‘The articulation between the head of the femur and the acetabulum form the hip joint.’
    • ‘The acetabulum contains the socket portion of the hip joint and must be reshaped to restore its original center.’
    • ‘The porous acetabulum may be secured with screws to allow cancellous bone ingrowth.’
    • ‘Ultrasonography provides visualization of the cartilage, hip stability and features of the acetabulum.’
    • ‘Treatment aims to contain the femoral head in the acetabulum to reduce the risks of future osteoarthritis.’
    • ‘For example, fractures of the acetabulum and pubic ramus or stress fractures may present with signs and symptoms similar to those of a hip fracture.’
    • ‘Some surgeons impact the shell implant into the acetabulum, and other surgeons prefer to fixate the implant with screws.’
    • ‘The hip is a synovial, ball-and-socket joint formed by the head of the femur and acetabulum of the coxal bone.’
    • ‘The acetabulum is also the socket for the head of the femur.’
    • ‘In this operation both the head of the femur and the acetabulum are replaced (total hip arthroplasty).’
    • ‘The acetabulum, the hollowing in the bony pelvis that forms the receptive portion of the hip articulation, is named after the small cup used to hold a popular dipping sauce at Roman dining tables.’
    • ‘The hip is a ball-and-socket joint where the thigh bone's femoral head fits into the acetabulum of the pelvis.’
    • ‘At birth the femoral head and the acetabulum are mainly cartilaginous, and a normal adult hip joint depends on their correct development.’
    • ‘Bone loss can occur around both the acetabulum and femur.’
    • ‘Developmental hip dysplasia may be unilateral or bilateral and includes subluxated or dislocated hips and malformed acetabula.’
    • ‘The two tendons unite to form an arch over the acetabulum.’
    • ‘The hip is a true ball-and-socket joint, where the ball of the femur is securely cradled in a deep socket of pelvic bone called the acetabulum.’
    • ‘The acetabular labrum is a triangular fibrocartilage that is attached at its base to the rim of articular cartilage surrounding the perimeter of the acetabulum.’
    1. 1.1Zoology Any cup-shaped structure, especially a sucker.
      • ‘Thus, to describe the mechanism of attachment, we must describe both how pressure can be reduced in the acetabulum and how a seal can be formed with the surface of attachment.’
      • ‘There are moderate depressions in the lateral surfaces of the ilia posterior and dorsal to the acetabulum.’
      • ‘Immediately anterior to this buttress, a small, deep concavity is located along the anterodorsal margin of the acetabulum.’
      • ‘These muscles originate on a connective tissue layer that surrounds the arm musculature and extend down to converge on the sucker and insert on the outer connective tissue capsule of the acetabulum at the level of the sphincter muscle.’
      • ‘The muscle volume has to go somewhere, so the circumference of the cup-shaped acetabulum has to increase, increasing the volume of the acetabular chamber.’
      • ‘Both the meridional muscle bundles and the circular muscle bundles of the acetabulum will, upon contraction, decrease the circumference and thereby increase the thickness of the acetabular wall.’


Late Middle English (denoting a vinegar cup, hence a cup-shaped cavity): from Latin, from acetum ‘vinegar’ + -abulum, denoting a container.