Definition of rectus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈrɛktəs/

noun (plural recti /ˈrɛktʌɪ/)

1Any of several straight muscles, in particular:
Example sentences
  • Leading from the seminiferous tubules are the tubuli recti or straight tubules lined only with columnar cells apparently derived from Sertoli cells.
  • The rectus femoris runs straight down the front of your thigh and, ideally, should protrude farther than any of your other quad muscles.
  • It may also be represented by a single muscle bundle between the lateral and superior recti.
1.1 (also rectus abdominis /abˈdɒmɪnɪs/) Each of a pair of long flat muscles at the front of the abdomen, joining the sternum to the pubis and acting to bend the whole body forwards or sideways.
Example sentences
  • During expiration, contraction of the rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis muscles draw the pubic plates dorsally, decreasing abdominal volume.
  • The most superficial ab muscle, the rectus abdominis, runs from the top of your pubic bone to the sternum.
  • The abdominal muscle responsible for the ‘six-pack’ look is the rectus abdominis.
1.2Any of a number of muscles controlling the movement of the eyeball.
Example sentences
  • Geoff hooked a needle through the rectus, the gossamer-thin muscle that controls eye movement, then immobilized it with a suture.
  • Congenital orbital adherens syndrome was suspected, and MRI of orbits revealed retraction of the right eyeball with shortening of the right medial rectus and left deviation of the nasal septum.
  • Editor Ahmed and Ali wondered whether it is the oblique eye muscles or the superior or inferior recti that adduct the eye.


Early 18th century: from Latin, literally 'straight'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rec¦tus

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