Definition of sternum in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstəːnəm/

noun (plural sternums or sterna /ˈstəːnə/)

1 Anatomy The breastbone.
Example sentences
  • In addition, the rib cage attaches the sternum in front to the vertebral column behind.
  • Now this pretty young woman bears a scar more commonly seen in old men, a neat red line cut by surgeons from her collarbone down her sternum.
  • In great detail the differences are laid out between the male and female skull, spine, clavicle, sternum, coccyx, and pelvis.
1.1 Zoology A thickened ventral plate on each segment of the body of an arthropod.
Example sentences
  • After cutting the pleural membrane between the sterna and terga, it was possible to remove the entire genital apparatus with a fine-tipped forceps.
  • The broadness of the portunid sternum allows the appendages to project well beyond the lateral margins of the carapace and is an adaptation to the swimming habit which most portunids exhibit.
  • Examination of the sterna and abdomina of these crabs permitted identification of mature and immature males and females.


Mid 17th century: modern Latin, from Greek sternon 'chest'.

Words that rhyme with sternum


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ster|num

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