Definitions

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

  • n. A long flat bone in most vertebrates that is situated along the ventral midline of the thorax and articulates with the ribs. The manubrium of the sternum articulates with the clavicles in humans and certain other vertebrates. Also called breastbone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The breastbone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A plate of cartilage, or a series of bony or cartilaginous plates or segments, in the median line of the pectoral skeleton of most vertebrates above fishes; the breastbone.
  • n. The ventral part of any one of the somites of an arthropod.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The breast-bone of man and many other vertebrates; a bone or longitudinal series of bones in the middle line of the ventral aspect of the body, chiefly in its thoracic section, completing the thoracic wall by articulation with more or fewer ribs, or elements of the scapular arch, or both: theoretically, in Owen's system, the hemal spines of a series Of vertebræ.
  • n. In arthropods, as insects and crustaceans, a median sternal or ventral sclerite of any somite of the cephalothorax, thorax, or abdomen; a sternite: the opposite of a tergite or notum.

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

  • n. the flat bone that articulates with the clavicles and the first seven pairs of ribs

Etymologies

New Latin, from Greek sternon, breast, breastbone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1660, from Neo-Latin sternum, from Ancient Greek στέρνον (stérnon, "chest, breastbone, heart"), from Proto-Indo-European *stern- (“forehead, chest, side”). Related to Old English steorn ("forehead"), German Stirn ("forehead"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Others may have weighed whether to wear a polo, V-neck, scoop neck or button-down if lanyard chafing around the neck or on the sternum is a concern.

    Meredith C. Carroll: Aspen's Status Symbol du Jour: Plastic

  • Admittedly, the sternum is a tough one, but if you can break a cinderblock with the heel of your hand, you can probably crack somebody's sternum, and if This Person were really so knowledgable about assassins and fighting, s/he would know that.

    Archive 2004-12-01

  • The sternum is the breastbone, and the keel is where wing muscles normally attach.

    The Song of The Dodo

  • On another line of thought the sternum is a ventral vertebral column.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

  • —The first rib differs from the others of this group in that its attachment to the sternum is a rigid one; this is counterbalanced to some extent by the fact that its head possesses no interarticular ligament, and is therefore more movable.

    III. Syndesmology. 5g. Articulation of the Manubrium and Body of the Sternum

  • This species is at once known from Chelodina longicollis by the form of its high, flat sternum, which is strongly keeled on the sides, and by this part being of a uniform reddish colour, without any dark margin to the plates; the hinder part of the sternum is only slightly concavely truncated, and not deeply notched.

    Journals of Two Expeditions of Discovery in North-West and Western Australia, Volume 2

  • In the Trumpeter this enters a protuberance that stands out on the dorsal aspect of the sternum, which is wanting in both the other kinds.

    The Hunters' Feast Conversations Around the Camp Fire

  • On the exterior of the sternum was a laceration an inch and a half in length, covered by a spumy fluid, from the centre of which was heard a gurgling noise, showing that a wound had penetrated into the sac of the pleura.

    The Dog

  • The injuries to his right hip and calf are not as serious as the one to his sternum, which is still causing him breathing problems.

    Cyclingnews News Headlines

  • I am satisfied with it even though I´m struggling a little through the direction changes, which is where my sternum is a problem too.

    PaddockTalk Racing News

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