• (noun): Any of the tendons at the rear hollow of the human knee.
  • (noun): The hamstring muscle.
  • (noun): The large tendon in the back of the hock of a quadruped.
  • (verb-transitive): To cut the hamstring of (an animal or a person) and thereby cripple.
  • (verb-transitive): To destroy or hinder the efficiency of; frustrate: "These worthwhile books are often hamstrung by unimaginative formats and inaccurate art" ( Don Lessem).

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Wordnet definitions

  • (noun): one of the tendons at the back of the knee
  • (verb): cripple by cutting the hamstring
  • (verb): make ineffective or powerless; "The teachers were hamstrung by the overly rigid schedules"

Look up "hamstring" to find its meanings and associations with other words and concepts


In human anatomy, a hamstring is one of the three posterior thigh muscles in between the hip and the knee (from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris). The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.
In quadrupeds, the hamstring is the single large tendon found behind the knee or comparable area.

Example Sentences

  • He left the game in the fourth quarter with what he called a hamstring strain.

  • Calderon sat out the final quarter with what he called a hamstring cramp in Wednesday's loss to the Sixers in Philadelphia.

  • Calderon sat out the final 16 minutes of Wednesday's 106-96 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers with what he called a hamstring cramp.

  • Furcal, out with a strained hamstring, is expected to rejoin the Dodgers on Friday for a series at San Diego. —

  • Yankees RHP Chan Ho Park, on the DL for almost a month with a strained right hamstring, is expected to throw Wednesday in Tampa, Fla.

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