/fon'tn el"/, n. Anat.
one of the spaces, covered by membrane, between the bones of the fetal or young skull.
Also, fontanelle.
[1375-1425; late ME fontinel < MF fontanele little spring, dim. of fontaine FOUNTAIN]

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or fontanelle

One of six soft spots at the junctions (sutures) of the cranial bones in an infant's skull, covered with tough, fibrous membrane.

They allow molding of the head during birth. Some close by three months, others after a year, and still others by two years.

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also spelled  fontanelle 

      soft spot in the skull of an infant, covered with tough, fibrous membrane. There are six such spots at the junctions of the cranial bones; they allow for molding of the fetal head during passage through the birth canal. Those at the sides of the head are irregularly shaped and located at the unions of the sphenoid and mastoid bones with the parietal bone. The posterior fontanel is triangular and lies at the apex of the occipital bone. The largest fontanel, the anterior, is at the crown between the halves of the frontal and the parietals. It is diamond shaped and about 2.5 centimetres by 4 centimetres (about 1 by 1.5 inches). The lateral fontanels close within three months of birth, the posterior fontanel at about two months, and the anterior fontanel by two years.

      Bony fish, some amphibians, and other mammals also have fontanels during embryonic and infant stages.

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Universalium. 2010.

(artificially caused)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fontanel — Fon ta*nel , n. [F. fontanelle, prop., a little fountain, fr. fontaine fountain. See {Fountain}.] 1. (Med.) An issue or artificial ulcer for the discharge of humors from the body.[Obs.] Wiseman. [1913 Webster] 2. (Anat.) One of the membranous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Fontanel — Porté en Savoie et dans l Ain, c est un toponyme avec le sens de petite source, petite fontaine. Forme féminine : Fontanelle (71, 23, 63). Formes italiennes : Fontanella, Fontanelli …   Noms de famille

  • fontanel — or fontanelle [fänt΄ n el′] n. [ME fontinel, a hollow, pit (of the body) < OFr fontanele, dim. of fontaine, FOUNTAIN] 1. Obs. an opening in the body for the discharge of secretions 2. any of the soft, boneless areas in the skull of a baby or… …   English World dictionary

  • fontanel — a gap between bones in the skull, closed by a membrane, where ossification of cartilage or connective tissue did not occur. Commonly found on top of the skull between the frontal bones (anterior fontanel) and between the parietal bones (posterior …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • fontanel — or fontanelle noun Etymology: Middle English fontinelle a bodily hollow or pit, from Anglo French funtainele, diminutive of funtaine fountain Date: 1741 a membrane covered opening in bone or between bones; specifically any of the spaces closed by …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • fontanel — n. [F. fontannella, little fountain] (ARTHROPODA: Insecta) In Isoptera, when present, a small circular or slit shaped orifice of the frontal or cephalic gland near the center of the head, through which a liquid is emitted; a frontal pore …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • fontanel — fon·ta·nel or fon·ta·nelle .fänt ən el, fänt ən . n a membrane covered opening in bone or between bones specif any of the spaces closed by membranous structures between the uncompleted angles of the parietal bones and the neighboring bones of a… …   Medical dictionary

  • fontanel·la — fon|ta|nel|·la Mot Pla Nom femení …   Diccionari Català-Català

  • fontanel — fon·ta·nel || ‚fÉ‘ntn el /‚fÉ’ntÉ™ nel n. opening between the bones of an infant s skull (Anatomy) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • fontanel — n. (Med.) Issue (artificially caused) …   New dictionary of synonyms

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