• WordNet 3.6
    • n gastrocnemius the muscle in the back part of the leg that forms the greater part of the calf; responsible for the plantar flexion of the foot
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Gastrocnemius (Anat) The muscle which makes the greater part of the calf of the leg.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gastrocnemius A superficial muscle of the posterior tibial region, arising from the femur and inserted into the tarsus, the action of which extends the foot upon the leg, and flexes the leg upon the thigh: so called from its character in man, in whom it forms, together with the soleus, the protuberant or “bellying” part of the calf of the leg. In man the gastrocnemius arises by two heads, inner and outer, from the corresponding condyles of the femur, is joined by the soleus, and then forms a very stout tendon, the tendo Achillis, which is inserted into the tuberosity of the os calcis or heel-bone. (See cut under muscle.) In animals in which there is no soleus the two heads of the gastrocnemius often form two muscles, distinct in their whole length, with separate Achillean tendons.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gastrocnemius gas-trok-nē′mi-us a superficial muscle of the posterior tibial region helping to extend the foot.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Gr. the calf of the leg
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. gastēr, stomach, knēmē, the leg.


In literature:

The soleus, so named from resembling a sole-fish, is a muscle of broad, flattened shape, lying beneath the gastrocnemius.
"A Practical Physiology" by Albert F. Blaisdell
The hock is kept fixed in position by the gastrocnemius and the superficial digital flexor (perforatus).
"Lameness of the Horse" by John Victor Lacroix
E E. The two heads of the gastrocnemius muscle.
"Surgical Anatomy" by Joseph Maclise
Then she raised one of them, and her fingers explored the common tendon of the soleus and gastrocnemius.
"A Crooked Mile" by Oliver Onions
I have seen the flexors of the toes of the affected limb violently cramped, and in one case there was agonizing cramp of the gastrocnemius.
"Neuralgia and the Diseases that Resemble it" by Francis E. Anstie
The gastrocnemius, when it contracts, extends the foot on the leg.
"Artistic Anatomy of Animals" by Édouard Cuyer
If the leg is chosen, the point of junction of the two heads of the gastrocnemius is an eligible situation.
"A System of Practical Medicine by American Authors, Vol. I" by Various

In news:

The outer calf muscle, the gastrocnemius, runs from above the knee to the ankle, and when it's too tight, it can throw off everything from the thigh to the foot.
A calf pull (also called a strain or tear) occurs when one of the calf muscles (gastrocnemius or soleus) is stretched beyond its limits and separates from the Achilles tendon.
The Achilles tendon is a continuum of coalescence between the two heads of the gastrocnemius and the soleus muscles.