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Definition of Ossification

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Ossification: The process of creating bone, that is of transforming cartilage (or fibrous tissue) into bone.

The human skeleton initially consists largely of cartilage which is relatively soft and is gradually transformed into hard bone during infant and child development.

The verb corresponding to "ossification" is "ossify." Cartilage becomes ossified as it is converted into bone. Bone is osseous tissue. "Os" is a synonym for "bone." The Latin word "os" means "bone" as does the related Greek word "osteon."

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

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