Definitions

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

  • n. Either of two large flat triangular muscles running from the base of the occiput to the middle of the back that support and make it possible to raise the head and shoulders.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large vertebrate skeletal muscle divided into an ascending, descending, and transverse portion, attaching the neck and central spine to the outer extremity of the scapula; it functions in scapular elevation, adduction, and depression.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large superficial muscle of the back of the neck and adjacent parts.

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

  • n. either of two flat triangular muscles of the shoulder and upper back that are involved in moving the shoulders and arms

Etymologies

New Latin, from Medieval Latin trapēzium, trapezium (from the shape of the muscles paired); see trapezium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown, probably has similar roots as other trap- terms, being related to Ancient Greek terms like τράπεζα (trapeza). (Wiktionary)

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