• WordNet 3.6
    • n sternum the flat bone that articulates with the clavicles and the first seven pairs of ribs
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Sternum (Anat) A plate of cartilage, or a series of bony or cartilaginous plates or segments, in the median line of the pectoral skeleton of most vertebrates above fishes; the breastbone.
    • Sternum (Zoöl) The ventral part of any one of the somites of an arthropod.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sternum The breast-bone of man and many other vertebrates; a bone or longitudinal series of bones in the middle line of the ventral aspect of the body, chiefly in its thoracic section, completing the thoracic wall by articulation with more or fewer ribs, or elements of the scapular arch, or both: theoretically, in Owen's system, the hemal spines of a series Of vertebræ. In man and most mammals the sternum consists of an anterior piece, the “handle,” manubrium, or presternum; of several (in man four) segments or sternebers constituting the body of the sternum, gladiolus, or mesosternum; and of a terminal piece, the xiphoid or ensiform cartilage, or xiphisternum. It articulates in man with the clavicles and with seven costal cartilages. The sternebers of a mammalian sternum may remain perfectly distinct, or be ankylosed in one. (See cut under mesosternum.) In cetaceans and sirenians the sternum is much reduced, and may be a single bone or quite rudimentary. In the monotrematous mammals a small median bone called proösteon is developed in front of the præsternum. The parts called episternum, omosternum, interclavicle, in the mammals just mentioned, or in various reptiles, or in batrachians, belong rather to the shoulder-girdle. There is no sternum in some reptiles, as serpents. See cuts under Catarrhina, Elephantinæ, interclavicle, omosternum, and skeleton.
    • n sternum In arthropods, as insects and crustaceans, a median sternal or ventral sclerite of any somite of the cephalothorax, thorax, or abdomen; a sternite: the opposite of a tergite or notum. In such cases, sternum and sternite are used interchangeably, sternum being seldom used of the series of sternites as a whole. (See cut under cephalothorax.) In insects the three thoracic sterna are specified as prosternum, mesosternum, and metasternum. In Diptera, sternum, generally means the mesosternum, as the other thoracic rings do not show a sternal piece. In Coleoptera, sternum is sometimes extended to include the episterna and epimera, or whole lower surface of a thoracic segment. See episternum, 3.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sternum stėr′num the breast-bone
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
NL., from Gr. , the breast, chest
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Gr. sternon, chest.


In literature:

In 1866 Boehm gives an account of Guzenhausen's case of twins who were united sternum to sternum.
"Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine" by George M. Gould
The Ribs and Sternum.
"A Practical Physiology" by Albert F. Blaisdell
The sternum or breast bone.
"Disease and Its Causes" by William Thomas Councilman
The patient complains, especially at night, of pains over the frontal bone, ribs, sternum, tibiae, or ulnae.
"Manual of Surgery" by Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
The first bone of the sternum (breast-bone).
"The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English" by R. V. Pierce
In the memoir on the sternum Geoffroy's first care is to arrive at a definition of what a sternum is.
"Form and Function" by E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
In general, the length of the osseous sternum gives the exact perpendicular range of the heart, together with its great vessels.
"Surgical Anatomy" by Joseph Maclise
The size and shape of the perforations in the sternum, and the size and divergence of the arms of the furcula, differ.
"The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, Vol. I." by Charles Darwin
The shortening of the sternum in pigeons is attributed to disuse of the flight muscles attached to it.
"Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited?" by William Platt Ball
In advanced cases the ribs become approximated, and the lower end of the sternum is projected forward.
"Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities--Head--Neck. Sixth Edition." by Alexander Miles

In news:

Ready to pile-drive your sternum -- and you're gonna like it.
Pectus excavatum is a deformity of the front of the chest wall with depression of the breastbone (sternum) and rib (costal) cartilages.
A slide show depicting a surgery to correct pectus excavatum, a deformity of the front of the chest wall with depressed breastbone (sternum) and ribs.
In a series of excruciating asides, she slits him slowly from navel to sternum.
"But then the old girl rolled up on her sternum and called to her foal," says Kelley.
Nothing like a sing-songy, heart-string-tugging hit with disturbing imagery —"cut open my sternum and pull my little ribs around you" — to get everyone humming as they shuffle out of the venue.
The SC joint connects the collarbone to the sternum.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson left Monday's 30-22 loss against Carolina with a sternum injury.
Avonlea has a condition called Pectus Excavatum, a chest deformity causing the sternum to cave into the backbone.
The twins are joined from the sternum to the groin and share a set of organs.
Jackson suffered a sternum injury in the first quarter Monday night.
Morneau appeared to catch his sternum on Olivo's left shoulder and the impact stopped Morneau to a halt.
Try a stand-up class, but don't quit your day job by Lynn Meredith Even lying on the road on the verge of death after a serious car accident, with a broken sternum and jaw, Dobie Maxwell, known as “Mr.