Definition of scaphoid in US English:



  • A large carpal bone articulating with the radius below the thumb.

    • ‘The scaphoid bone has an irregular shape, and 80% of the surface is covered by articular cartilage.’
    • ‘In prolonged cases, osteophytes may occur at the dorsal rim of the distal radius or dorsal aspects of the scaphoid or lunate.’
    • ‘The scaphoid and hamate are the most common bones to have nonunion after a fracture because their blood supplies are delicate and prone to complete disruption.’
    • ‘Historically, the bone scan has been used to look for occult fractures of the scaphoid and other bones.’
    • ‘The England captain fractured his right scaphoid, the bone between the thumb and the wrist, in the national team's 2-1 win over South Africa in Durban on Thursday.’


Mid 18th century (in the sense ‘boat-shaped’): from modern Latin scaphoides, from Greek skaphoeidēs, from skaphos ‘boat’.