AskDefine | Define forearm

Dictionary Definition

forearm n : the part of the superior limb between the elbow and the wrist v : arm in advance of a confrontation

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The part of the arm between the wrist and the elbow.


part of the arm


  1. To arm in preparation.

Usage notes

  • This verb is quite rare, except in the participial adjective forearmed, found in the common adage forewarned is forearmed.

Extensive Definition

The forearm is the structure on the upper limb, between the elbow and the wrist.. This term is used in anatomy to distinguish it from the arm (or upper arm).

The human forearm

The forearm contains two long bones, the radius and the ulna, forming the radioulnar joint. The interosseous membrane connects these bones. Ultimately, the forearm is covered by skin, the anterior surface usually being less hairy than the posterior surface.
The forearm contains many muscles, including the flexors and extensors of the digits, a flexor of the elbow (brachioradialis), and pronators and supinators that turn the hand to face down or upwards, respectively. In cross-section the forearm can be divided into two fascial compartments. The posterior compartment contains the extensors of the hands, which are supplied by the radial nerve. The anterior compartment contains the flexors, and is mainly supplied by the median nerve. The ulnar nerve also runs the length of the forearm.
The radial and ulnar arteries, and their branches, supply the blood to the forearm. These usually run on the anterior face of the radius and ulna down the whole forearm. The main superficial veins of the forearm are the cephalic, median antebrachial and the basilic vein. These veins can be used for cannularisation or venipuncture, although the cubital fossa is a preferred site for getting blood.





  • "E/I" refers to "extrinsic" or "intrinsic". In most cases, the extrinsic anterior muscles are flexors of the hand and wrist. The extrinsic muscles of the forearm act upon the hand and wrist. In most cases, the extrinsic anterior muscles are flexors, while the extrinsic posterior muscles are extensors.
  • The Brachioradialis, flexor of the forearm, is unusual in that it is located in the posterior compartment, but it is actually in the anterior portion of the forearm.


(See separate nerve articles for details on divisions proximal to the elbow and distal to the wrist; see Brachial plexus for the origins of the median, radial and ulnar nerves)

Additional images

Image:Gray417_color.PNG|Cross-section through the middle of the forearm.


External links

forearm in Arabic: ساعد
forearm in German: Unterarm
forearm in Spanish: Antebrazo
forearm in Persian: ساعد
forearm in French: Avant-bras
forearm in Italian: Avambraccio
forearm in Hebrew: אמה (איבר)
forearm in Latin: Antebrachium
forearm in Lithuanian: Dilbis
forearm in Dutch: Onderarm
forearm in Polish: Przedramię
forearm in Portuguese: Antebraço
forearm in Russian: Предплечье
forearm in Simple English: Forearm
forearm in Finnish: Kyynärvarsi
forearm in Swedish: Underarm
forearm in Telugu: ముంజేయి
forearm in Thai: ปลายแขน
forearm in Turkish: Önkol
forearm in Ukrainian: Передпліччя

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

arm, arrange for, biceps, clear the decks, consider every angle, elbow, guard against, hedge, lay by, leave out nothing, look out for, make provision for, make sure, make sure against, overlook no possibility, play safe, prepare for, provide a hedge, provide against, provide for, reef down, shorten sail, take measures, take precautions, take steps, upper arm, wrist
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