Although the term "quadriceps" technically may refer to any four-headed muscle, it usually refers to and is synonymous with the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, the large muscle that comes down the femur (the bone of the upper leg), goes over the patella (the kneecap) and anchors into the top of the tibia (the big bone in the lower leg). The function of the quadriceps is to extend (to straighten out) the leg. President Bill Clinton had surgery in 1997 to repair the quadriceps tendon in his right knee, which he tore stumbling on steps. The quadriceps stretch exercise is designed to help prevent this type of injury. For those who are into Latin, this muscle's full formal name is musculus quadriceps femoris. For those who prefer nicknames, it is the quad.
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SYN: four-headed muscle. [L. fr. quadri- + caput, head]

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quad·ri·ceps 'kwäd-rə-.seps n a large extensor muscle of the front of the thigh divided above into four parts which include the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius, and vastus medialis, and which unite in a single tendon to enclose the patella as a sesamoid bone at the knee and insert as the patellar ligament into the tuberosity of the tibia called also quadriceps femoris, quadriceps muscle

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one of the great extensor muscles of the legs. It is situated in the thigh and is subdivided into four distinct portions: the rectus femoris (which also flexes the thigh), vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus intermedius.

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quad·ri·ceps (kwodґrĭ-seps) [quadri- + L. caput head] four headed; possessing four heads.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • quadriceps — [ k(w)adrisɛps ] n. m. • 1924; lat. méd. repris du lat. tardif « à quatre têtes »; cf. biceps, triceps ♦ Anat. Faisceau musculaire de l avant de la cuisse, attaché à la rotule, qui réunit les muscles vastes (crural et droit antérieur). ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • quadríceps — s. m. 2 núm. [Anatomia] O mesmo que quadricípite.   ‣ Etimologia: latim quadriceps, cipitis, de quatro cabeças …   Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa

  • Quadriceps — Quad ri*ceps, n. [NL., fr. L. qyattuor four + caput head.] (Anat.) The great extensor muscle of the knee, divided above into four parts which unite in a single tendon at the knee. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • quadriceps — ► NOUN (pl. same) ▪ a large muscle at the front of the thigh. ORIGIN from Latin, four headed …   English terms dictionary

  • quadriceps — [kwä′dri seps΄] n. [ModL < QUADRI + L ceps < caput, the HEAD] a muscle with four heads, or points of origin; esp., the large muscle at the front of the thigh, which extends the leg quadricipital [kwä΄drisip′i təl] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Quadriceps — Muscle quadriceps fémoral Pour les articles homonymes, voir Quad. les muscles de la face antérieure de la cuisse …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Quadriceps — Musculus quadriceps femoris Oberschenkelmuskulatur des Menschen von vorn, li. Bein, M. vastus intermedius dr. M. rectus femoris verdeckt Ursprung mit 4 Köpfen am Femur sowie Darmbein Ansatz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • quadriceps — UK [ˈkwɒdrɪseps] / US [ˈkwɑdrɪˌseps] noun [countable] Word forms quadriceps : singular quadriceps plural quadriceps the large muscle on the front of your thigh …   English dictionary

  • quadriceps — noun (plural quadriceps; also quadricepses) Etymology: New Latin quadricipit , quadriceps, from quadri + cipit , ceps (as in bicipit , biceps biceps) Date: 1840 the greater extensor muscle of the front of the thigh that is divided into four parts …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • quadriceps — qua̱|dri|ceps [aus lat. quadriceps = vierköpfig]: „vierköpfig“; z. B. in der Fügung ↑Musculus quadriceps femoris (Anat.) …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

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