Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to or situated in the breast or chest: a pectoral muscle; the pectoral cavity.
  • adj. Useful in relieving disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.
  • adj. Worn on the chest or breast: a pectoral cross.
  • n. A muscle or organ of the chest.
  • n. A pectoral fin.
  • n. A medicine for relieving disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.
  • n. An ornament or decoration worn on the chest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the breast, or chest; as, the pectoral muscles.
  • adj. Relating to, or good for, diseases of the chest or lungs; as, a pectoral remedy.
  • adj. Having the breast conspicuously colored; as, the pectoral sandpiper.
  • n. Protective armor for a horse's breast.
  • n. A covering or protecting for the breast.
  • n. A breastplate, especially that worn by the Jewish high person.
  • n. A clasp or a cross worn on the breast.
  • n. A medicine for diseases of the chest organs, especially the lungs.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the breast, or chest.
  • adj. Relating to, or good for, diseases of the chest or lungs.
  • adj. Having the breast conspicuously colored.
  • n.
  • n. A covering or protecting for the breast.
  • n.
  • n. A breastplate, esp. that worn by the Jewish high person.
  • n. A clasp or a cross worn on the breast.
  • n. A medicine for diseases of the chest organs, especially the lungs.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of, pertaining to, or connected with the breast or chest; thoracic: as, a pectoral muscle, vessel, nerve, etc.; a pectornl limb.
  • In entomology, pertaining to the pectus or lower surface of the thorax.
  • n. Armor for the breast, excluding the throat and the lower part of the body.
  • n. An ornament to be worn on the breast; especially, an ornament of an unfamiliar sort, or of a sort to which no special name is given: as an enameled pectoral.
  • n. Eccles.: In the anc. Jewish ritual, a sacerdotal breastplate of richly colored and embroidered cloth, worn by the high priest.
  • n. In the Roman Catholic Church, a square plate of gold, silver, or embroidery, either jeweled or enameled, formerly worn on the breast over the chasuble by bishops during the celebration of the mass.
  • n. A pectoral cross.
  • n. A food, a drink, or a drug supposed to be good for persons having weak lungs.
  • n. A pectoral part or organ.
  • Figuratively, proceeding from the breast, as of the heart; from the inner consciousness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. either of two large muscles of the chest
  • n. an adornment worn on the chest or breast
  • adj. of or relating to the chest or thorax

Etymologies

Probably Latin pectorālis, from pectus, pector-, breast. N., sense 4, Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pectorāle, breastplate, from neuter of pectorālis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pectorālis. (Wiktionary)

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