Definition of cancellous in English:



  • Of or denoting bone tissue with a meshlike structure containing many pores, typical of the interior of mature bones.

    • ‘The bones are mildly crushed dorsoventrally, particularly the ends of the metacarpals, suggesting that they were originally hollow or composed of open cancellous bone tissue.’
    • ‘Bones are made up of two types of material - compact bone and cancellous bone.’
    • ‘Fluoride increases bone formation by stimulating osteoblasts and increasing cancellous bone formation in patients with osteoporosis.’
    • ‘The epiphyseal plate is joined to the diaphysis by columns of cancellous bone; this region is known as the metaphysis.’
    • ‘Similarly, cortical bone is less prone to diagenetic contamination than porous, cancellous bone tissue.’


Mid 19th century: from Latin cancelli ‘crossbars’ + -ous.