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

  • n. The ventral shield or plate of each segment of the body of an insect or other arthropod.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The ventral plate of each segment of an arthropod

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The sternum of an arthropod somite.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In Arthropoda, as an insect or a crustacean, one of the median ventral sclerites of the crust or body-wall; the median ventral piece of any segment, somite, or metamere, whether a distinct piece or only that undistinguished ventral part or region which lies between the insertions of any pair of legs or other appendages.
  • n. In entomology, specifically, the under or ventral sclerite of an abdominal segment.
  • n. One of the pieces of the sternum or breastbone of a vertebrate; a sterneber.


stern(um) + -ite1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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