from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Either of two slender bones in humans that extend from the manubrium of the sternum to the acromion of the scapula.
  • noun One of the bones of the pectoral girdle in many vertebrates.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The collar-bone, forming one of the elements of the pectoral arch in vertebrate animals.
  • noun In botany, a tendril.
  • noun The columella of a univalve shell.
  • noun In ichthyology, usually the largest bone of the shoulder-girdle.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Anat.) The collar bone, which is joined at one end to the scapula, or shoulder blade, and at the other to the sternum, or breastbone. In man each clavicle is shaped like the letter �, and is situated just above the first rib on either side of the neck. In birds the two clavicles are united ventrally, forming the merrythought, or wishbone.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The collar bone; the prominent bone at the top of the chest between the shoulder and the neck.

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

  • noun bone linking the scapula and sternum


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

[New Latin clāvīcula, from Latin, diminutive of clāvis, key (from its shape).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin clāvīcula, diminutive of clāvis ("key").


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  • _catena gulae_ of Roger and Gilbert is what we call the clavicle, though the more common Latin names of this bone are _claviculus_,

    Gilbertus Anglicus Medicine of the Thirteenth Century Henry Ebenezer Handerson

  • Ro replies, "Did you know it's considered good luck to break a clavicle on a Klingon wedding night?"

    Archive 2010-05-01 2010

  • Ro replies, "Did you know it's considered good luck to break a clavicle on a Klingon wedding night?"

    Q & Y (Part One) 2010

  • #27- Yes the thumb nail indentation for a cleavage straight to a clavicle is a nice touch.

    Regretsy – Top This 2010

  • I remember thinking of the word clavicle at the time because I had the odd feeling that the water level had sought out the slender, horizontal bones at the top of my chest to draw attention to the fact that I was now within 6 or 8 inches of having my nose and mouth submerged, at which point it would become challenging to continue the breathing process that had become habitual with me.

    A Sportman's Life: A Sinking Feeling 2008

  • The middle of the shaft of the clavicle is a much safer guide to the vessel than are the muscles which contribute to form this posterior triangle of the neck, in which the subclavian vessel is located.

    Surgical Anatomy Joseph Maclise

  • Passing transversely behind the clavicle are the transverse scapular vessels; and traversing its upper angle in the same direction, the transverse cervical artery and vein.

    VI. The Arteries. 3a. 3. The Triangles of the Neck 1918

  • Fracture of the _lateral_ or _acromial third_ of the clavicle is a common form of accident at football matches, and usually results from direct violence, the bone being driven down against the coracoid process, and broken as one breaks a stick over the knee.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition. Alexander Miles 1893

  • As I've been telling most well-wishers, if your kid has to get a break in something, a clavicle is a good choice.

    Squidalicious 2008

  • Note the two little "clavicle" tabs that will fold back as you bend the arms in.

    MAKE Magazine 2010


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  • This is the only bone that I have fractured (so far).

    March 10, 2007

  • Ouch. I tend to break smaller bones myself--fingers, toes, metatarsals....

    March 10, 2007

  • Anyone else have a clavicle fetish? No? Anyone?

    March 11, 2007

  • Clavicles give me the willys. But I guess that wouldn't come as a surprise, knowing me. Consider this added to the Nightmares! list.

    An aside: Am I the only one who thinks this word sounds more like a wind instrument than a collarbone?

    March 11, 2007

  • with you on the wind instrument, wuss.

    March 11, 2007

  • I don't know, u--sounds too "clattery" for a wind instrument to me. And AZ, I wouldn't say I have a clavicle fetish, but I do so like them. ;-)

    March 12, 2007