Etymology
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abductor (n.)

1610s, in physiology, a muscle that moves (a limb) away from the axis of the body, from Latin abductor, agent noun from abducere "to lead away," from ab "off, away from" (see ab-) + ducere "to lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead").

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glossocomium (n.)

in medical use, "case for a broken limb," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek glossocomion "small case for holding the reed of a wind instrument," from glōssa "mouthpiece," literally "tongue" (see gloss (n.2)).

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cheliped (n.)

"large, specialized chelate limb of a crustacean, great claw of a crab or lobster," 1859, Modern Latin, from chela "claw" (from Greek khēlē "claw, talon, pincers, cloven hoof," a word of uncertain origin) + Latin pod-, stem of pes "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot").

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melisma (n.)

1837, "a melodic decoration consisting of the prolongation of one syllable over a number of notes," from Greek melisma "a song, an air, a tune, melody," from melos "music, song, melody; musical phrase or member," literally "limb," a word of uncertain origin. Related: Melismatic.

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circumduction (n.)

"the moving of a limb, etc., around an imaginary axis," 1570s, from Latin circumductionem (nominative circumductio), noun of action from past-participle stem of circumducere "to lead around, move or drive around," from circum "around" (see circum-) + ducere "to lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead"). Related: Circumduce.

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membrane (n.)

early 15c., "thin layer of skin or soft tissue of the body," a term in anatomy, from Latin membrana "a skin, membrane; parchment (skin prepared for writing)," from membrum "limb, member of the body" (see member). The etymological sense is "that which covers the members of the body."

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mutilation (n.)

1520s, in Scots law, "act of disabling or wounding a limb," from French mutilation and directly from Late Latin mutilationem (nominative mutilatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin mutilare "to cut or lop off," from mutilus "maimed," which is of uncertain etymology. Of things, "a destroying of unity by damaging or removing a part," from 1630s.

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pronation (n.)

"act or result of pronating, the prone position of the fore limb in which the bones of the forearm are more or less crossed and the palm of the hand is turned downward," 1660s, from French pronation, from Medieval Latin pronationem (nominative pronatio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Late Latin pronare "to bend forward," from pronus "prone" (see prone).

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maim (v.)

c. 1300, maimen, "disable by wounding or mutilation, injure seriously, damage, destroy, castrate," from Old French mahaignier "to injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm," a word of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *mahanare (source also of Provençal mayanhar, Italian magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (source of Old Norse meiða "to hurt," related to mad (adj.)), or from PIE root *mai- (1) "to cut."

In old law, "to deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render one less able to defend or attack in fighting." Related: Maimed; maiming. It also is used as a noun, "injury causing loss of a limb, mutilation" (late 14c.), in which it is a doublet of mayhem.

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amputate (v.)

1630s, "to cut off a limb," originally in English both of plants and persons; a back-formation from amputation or else from Latin amputatus, past participle of amputare "to cut off, lop off; cut around, to prune," from am(bi)- "around" (from PIE root *ambhi- "around") + putare "to prune, trim" (from PIE root *pau- (2) "to cut, strike, stamp"). Related: Amputated; amputating.

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