Definition of forelimb in US English:



  • Either of the front limbs of an animal.

    • ‘But the creature's most unusual feature was a set of long, asymmetric feathers with hooked barbs on its hind limbs and forelimbs.’
    • ‘For the sake of simplicity we will not address the bones of the wrist and paw in our study of the forelimb and girdle.’
    • ‘The wings of birds, forelimbs of a lizard and human arms are homologies, because they are all derived from the same primitive structure in the common ancestor of these groups.’
    • ‘This specimen consists of a nearly complete tail, the right forelimb complete through the metacarpals, both sternal plates, and both ischia.’
    • ‘They have no eyelids, and all species have four fingers on each forelimb, five toes on each hind limb, and caudal fins.’
    • ‘They are adapted for leaping, with hind limbs much longer than forelimbs.’
    • ‘The several theories for the origin of avian feathers, as well as for the origin of the winged forelimb and avian flight, are all historical-narrative explanations.’
    • ‘By mapping homologous skeletal elements of the vertebrate forelimb onto their phylogeny, an explicit alternative interpretation of the significance of Hox gene expression emerges.’
    • ‘Does the discovery of asymmetrical flight feathers on the forelimbs and hind limbs of dromaeosaurs affect the debate about the evolution of avian flight.’
    • ‘Their stream-lined bodies entirely lack hindlimbs, their forelimbs are reduced, they have lidless eyes, and large external gills and gill slits.’
    • ‘The limbs are long, and the hindlimbs are longer than forelimbs and in most are well adapted for running.’
    • ‘The forelimbs are specialized to form flippers, and the hind limbs and pelvis are extremely small and do not normally extend out of the body wall of the animal.’
    • ‘Feathers could have elongated on the forelimbs and lateral margins of the elongated tail in connection with leaping and parachuting out of trees.’
    • ‘Also, dinosaurs have exactly the wrong anatomy for developing flight, with their large tails and hindlimbs and short forelimbs.’
    • ‘Most mammals use their forelimbs to accomplish tasks.’
    • ‘Short but deep jaws with banana-sized sharp teeth, long hind limbs, small beady eyes, and tiny forelimbs typify a tyrannosaur.’
    • ‘In this position the gorilla's weight-line (or ‘centre of gravity’ line) falls between the forelimbs and the hind limbs.’
    • ‘Additionally, a nonstandard lead was observed across the left forelimb and right hindlimb.’
    • ‘An obvious modification was the elongation of feathers or ‘proto-feathers,’ which extended and broadened the forelimb into a wing that was much more sensitive to air flow.’
    • ‘Both the forelimb and the hindlimb have one long bone that attaches to the body at one end and to two long bones at the other end.’
    upper limb, appendage
    View synonyms