The anatomical snuffbox is a surface anatomy feature described as a triangular depression on the dorsum of the hand at the base of the thumb. The anatomical snuffbox is visible with ulnar deviation of the wrist and extension and abduction of the thumb. Its name was derived from using the depression as a means of placement for the inhalation of powdered tobacco, otherwise known as dry snuff, and was first described in the medical literature in 1850. However, the anatomical snuffbox was not introduced into anatomy textbooks until the early 1900s when it was described by Germain Cloquet and Marie Francois Bichat.
Anatomically, the anatomical snuffbox is bordered medially by the tendons of the extensor pollicis longus and laterally by the tendons of the muscles named the extensor pollicis brevis and the abductor pollicis longus. The floor of the anatomical snuffbox is formed by the scaphoid bone and trapezium bone of the wrist, as well as the tendons of the muscle named the extensor carpi radialis longus and the muscle named the extensor carpi radialis brevis. The base of the first metacarpal bone can be palpated distally, and the styloid process of the radius can be palpated proximally. Contained within the anatomical snuffbox are the radial artery, the superficial branches of the radial nerve, and the cephalic vein.