Definition of tibia in US English:



  • 1The inner and typically larger of the two bones between the knee and the ankle (or the equivalent joints in other terrestrial vertebrates), parallel with the fibula.

    • ‘X-rays later revealed that both the tibia and fibula bones in Marcus's right leg fractured.’
    • ‘The cause of Blount disease is unknown, but it causes abnormal growth at the top of the tibia bone by the knee joint.’
    • ‘Miss Rowley, 29, broke her tibia and fibula bones and underwent two operations which resulted in her left leg being half an inch shorter than the right.’
    • ‘The earliest members of the group had two separate leg bones, the tibia and fibula, just like humans.’
    • ‘Bruce Latimer, director of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History in Ohio, said an ankle bone and tibia discovered at the site proves the creature walked upright.’
    • ‘The kneecap is then moved across to the outer side of the knee to expose the knee joint behind it, between the tibia (shin bone) and the femur (thigh bone).’
    • ‘However, as a 4 year old he had a fractured tibia and fibula.’
    1. 1.1Zoology The tibiotarsus of a bird.
      • ‘The left tibia was removed from each bird, cleaned, and marked for identification.’
      • ‘A bird with a broken tibia popped off her own cast after a week.’
      • ‘The crest is the round disc of bone attached to the upper part of the tibia that acts as a kind of lever for the bird's movement.’
      • ‘Severely affected birds may have a marked bowing of the tibia, be reluctant to move, and have a stilted gait.’
      • ‘The bird's tibia (lower leg bone) has been fused with some of the upper bones of the foot to form the tibiotarsus.’
    2. 1.2Entomology The fourth segment of the leg of an insect, between the femur and the tarsus.
      • ‘The femur-tibia (FT) feedback system of the stick insect is one of the best known motion feedback systems in arthropods.’
      • ‘The claw is closeable over its entire length and the prey is fixed between the femur (upper arm) and the tibia (lower arm) of the insect leg.’
      • ‘The second segment, or tibia, is also long, and in most species is equipped with a line of wicked barbs pointing outward.’
      • ‘Both sexes have a pair of ‘spurs’ on each hind leg where the tibia, or fourth leg segment, joins the tarsus, or foot.’
      • ‘In addition to the pretarsus, tarsus, tibia and femur, insects have two proximal (closer to the body) segments not shown in the figure.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, ‘shin bone’.