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See also: Patella and patel·la


A diagram of a front view of the knee, showing the patella at centre
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From Latin patella (a small pan or dish, a plate; the kneepan, patella), diminutive of patina (a broad shallow dish, pan).


patella (plural patellas or patellae)

  1. (anatomy) The sesamoid bone of the knee; the kneecap.
    • 2004, Ann Seranne, The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog, page 188,
      Subluxed patellas, more commonly referred to as slipped stifles, like all inherited factors will continue to cripple a breed as long as breeders continue to mate affected animals.
    • 2005, Roger E. Stevenson, 20: Limbs, Roger E. Stevenson, Judith G. Hall, Human Malformations and Related Anomalies, page 920,
      Since patella diameter is a feature of continuous variation, the majority of small patellas represent simply the lower extreme of normal anatomic variation.
    • 2006, Erik Trinkaus, 18: The Lower Limb Remains, Erik Trinkaus, Jiří Svoboda (editors), Early Modern Human Evolution in Central Europe, page 395,
      Both patellae are well preserved for Dolni Věstonice 3 and 13-15, and the left patella remains for Dolni Věstonice 16 (Figures 18.22 to 18.26).
    • 2009, P. Tohomson, 14: Assessment of the paediatric patient, Ben Yates (editor), Merriman's Assessment of the Lower Limb, page 401,
      The patellae may be up to 30° externally rotated at birth. In young children it is considered normal for the patellae to be externally rotated, but by 5 years of age the patellae should face forwards.


Derived terms[edit]


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patella f (plural patelle)

  1. (anatomy) patella, kneecap, rotula
  2. (mollusk) limpet

Derived terms[edit]



Diminutive of patina (a broad shallow dish, pan) or patera.



patella f (genitive patellae); first declension

  1. a small or shallow pan or dish
  2. the kneecap, patella
  3. a disease of the olive tree


First declension.

Case Singular Plural
nominative patella patellae
genitive patellae patellārum
dative patellae patellīs
accusative patellam patellās
ablative patellā patellīs
vocative patella patellae

Derived terms[edit]



  • patella in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • patella in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • du Cange, Charles (1883), “patella”, in G. A. Louis Henschel, Pierre Carpentier, Léopold Favre, editors, Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (in Latin), Niort: L. Favre
  • patella in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français [Illustrated Latin-French Dictionary], Hachette
  • patella in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • patella in William Smith, editor (1848) A Dictionary of Greek Biography and Mythology, London: John Murray
  • patella in William Smith et al., editor (1890) A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London: William Wayte. G. E. Marindin