noun, plural pa·tel·las, pa·tel·lae [puhtel-ee] /pəˈtɛl i/.

  1. Anatomy. the flat, movable bone at the front of the knee; kneecap.
  2. Biology. a panlike or cuplike formation.
  3. Zoology. any limpet of the family Patellidae.
  4. Archaeology. a small pan or shallow vessel.

noun plural -lae (-liː)

  1. anatomy a small flat triangular bone in front of and protecting the knee jointNontechnical name: kneecap
  2. biology a cuplike structure, such as the spore-producing body of certain ascomycetous fungi
  3. archaeol a small pan

n.“knee cap,” 1690s, from Latin patella “pan, kneecap,” diminutive of patina “pan” (see pan (n.)). So called from its shape. Related: Patellar; patelliform. n. pl. pa•tel•lae (-tĕlē)

  1. A flat triangular bone located in the combined tendon of the extensors of the leg and covering the front surface of the knee joint.kneecap
  2. A pan-shaped anatomical formation.

Plural patellae (pə-tĕlē)

  1. The small, flat, movable bone at the front of the knee in most mammals. Also called kneecap See more at skeleton.

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