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[ham-string] /ˈhæmˌstrɪŋ/

(in humans and other primates) any of the tendons that bound the of the knee.
(in quadrupeds) the great tendon at the back of the hock.
verb (used with object), hamstrung, hamstringing.
to disable by cutting the hamstring or hamstrings; cripple.
to render powerless or useless; thwart:
Their efforts were hamstrung by stubborn pride.
(anatomy) any of the tendons at the back of the knee related adjective popliteal
the large tendon at the back of the hock in the hind leg of a horse, etc
verb (transitive) -strings, -stringing, -strung
to cripple by cutting the hamstring of
to ruin or thwart

1640s, “to disable, render useless,” a figurative verbal extension from the noun hamstring “tendon at the back of the knee” (1560s), from ham “bend of the knee” (see ham (n.1)) + string. Cutting this would render a person or animal lame. Related: Hamstrung.

[I]n hamstring, -string is not the verb string; we do not string the ham, but do something to the tendon called the hamstring; the verb, that is, is made not from the two words ham & string, but from the noun hamstring. It must therefore make hamstringed. [Fowler]

hamstring ham·string (hām’strĭng’)

A powerful group of muscles at the back of the thigh that arise in the hip and pelvis and insert as strong tendons behind the knee. The hamstring bends the knee and helps to straighten the hip.


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