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(in humans) the joint between the foot and the leg, in which movement occurs in two planes.
the corresponding joint in a quadruped or bird; hock.
the slender part of the leg above the foot.
Contemporary Examples

The basic setup: A baby is placed on her back in a crib with a ribbon around her ankle that is also tied to a mobile.
What Your Baby Remembers Heather Turgeon November 8, 2010

But the company Jeffrey Campbell has done just that with its clunky monster of an ankle boot, called the ‘Lita’.
Jeffrey Campbell ‘Lita’ Bootie is The World’s Ugliest Shoe Misty White Sidell April 1, 2013

My ankle—I never got to fix it, because I still had to walk on it in heels.
Eliza Coupe Finds Her ‘Happy Ending’ With ‘Benched’ Kevin Fallon October 27, 2014

“I know one girl who sprained her ankle and was told by her doctor to lay off soccer for a week,” says Dr. Davis.
Is Your Kid’s Coach Too Mean? Michele Willens April 2, 2013

Models are always a few faltering footsteps away from breaking an ankle (or worse).
Up, Up, Up: The Hottest High Heels in History Lizzie Crocker September 10, 2014

Historical Examples

His ankle had struck the back of the blade, then his foot had turned and met the edge of the scythe.
Airship Andy Frank V. Webster

Her foot and ankle are perfect, and the springy step is light as a fawn’s.
Floyd Grandon’s Honor Amanda Minnie Douglas

Papoin was killed, Joly was severely wounded, and Scanlon was hit in the ankle—all by the same shell.
A Soldier of the Legion Edward Morlae

A figure was lying on a cot bed–a figure that was bound wrist and ankle.
Owen Clancy’s Happy Trail Burt L. Standish

A second shot struck him in the ankle, and impeded his further progress.
The Nation’s Peril Anonymous

the joint connecting the leg and the foot See talus1
the part of the leg just above the foot

Old English ancleow “ankle,” from PIE root *ang-/*ank- “to bend” (see angle (n.)). The modern form seems to have been influenced by Old Norse ökkla or Old Frisian ankel, which are immediately from the Proto-Germanic form of the root (cf. Middle High German anke “joint,” German Enke “ankle”); the second element in the Old English, Old Norse and Old Frisian forms perhaps suggests claw (cf. Dutch anklaauw), or it may be from influence of cneow “knee,” or it may be diminutive suffix -el. Middle English writers distinguished inner ankle projection (hel of the ancle) from the outer (utter or utward).

ankle an·kle (āng’kəl)

The joint between the leg and foot in which the tibia and fibula articulate with the talus.

The region of the ankle joint.

The anklebone.


To walk: I ankled over to the bar

Related Terms

beaten down to the ankles

[perhaps in part from angle, cited fr 1890s in sense of ”to walk”]


Read Also:

  • Ankle biter

    noun (Austral, slang) a child

  • Anklebone

    the talus. Historical Examples Her master of the horse, Prince Repnin, held the bridle of the horse, which suddenly gave him a kick which broke his anklebone. The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt noun the nontechnical name for talus1 anklebone n. See talus.

  • Ankle-deep

    high enough to reach or cover the ankles: ankle-deep mud. deeply involved or entangled: He is ankle-deep in financial troubles. as high as the ankles: Rain water ran ankle-deep. Historical Examples He had slipped heavily, as he paddled through the ankle-deep mud, and had hurt his back. Tell England Ernest Raymond Oil was on everybody’s […]

  • Ankle jerk

    a reflex extension of the foot, caused by contraction of the muscles of the calf, resulting from a sharp tap on the Achilles tendon; Achilles reflex.

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