• WordNet 3.6
    • n thorax part of an insect's body that bears the wings and legs
    • n thorax the part of the human torso between the neck and the diaphragm or the corresponding part in other vertebrates
    • n thorax the middle region of the body of an arthropod between the head and the abdomen
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: There is a certain type of Hawk Moth caterpillar from Brazil that inflates its thorax, which makes its head look like a head of a snake when it feels it is in danger or alarmed
    • Thorax (Antiq) A breastplate, cuirass, or corselet; especially, the breastplate worn by the ancient Greeks.
    • Thorax (Zoöl) The middle region of the body of an insect, or that region which bears the legs and wings. It is composed of three united somites, each of which is composed of several distinct parts. See Illust. in Appendix. and Illust. of Coleoptera.
    • Thorax (Anat) The part of the trunk between the neck and the abdomen, containing that part of the body cavity the walls of which are supported by the dorsal vertebræ, the ribs, and the sternum, and which the heart and lungs are situated; the chest.
    • Thorax (Zoöl) The second, or middle, region of the body of a crustacean, arachnid, or other articulate animal. In the case of decapod Crustacea, some writers include under the term thorax only the three segments bearing the maxillipeds; others include also the five segments bearing the legs. See Illust. in Appendix.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Tarantulas have retractable claws like cats and the hairs on their abdomen and back legs can stick into an enemy and itch. They also get bald on their thorax when they get old. Thanx Laura
    • n thorax In anatomy and zoology, a part of the trunk between the head or neck and the abdomen or tail, in any way distinguished, as by containing the heart and lungs, by being inclosed with large ribs, or by bearing certain limbs not borne elsewhere. The name is applied both to the walls and to the cavity of this part of the body, but not to the contents of the cavity, and properly not to the thoracic appendages. In all vertebrates the thorax represents several of the segments or somites of the body succeeding the cervical and succeeded by the abdominal or pelvic segments. It is generally defined by the elongation of several ribs and the connection of some or most of these with a breast-bone, the thoracic skeleton thusforming a bony cage or frame which contains and defends the principal organs of circulation and respiration. In invertebrates, however, the thorax is defined upon other considerations. In man and all mammals the thorax is sharply marked off from the rest of the trunk by the lack of developed cervical and lumbar ribs, and its cavity is completely shut off from that of the abdomen by the diaphragm. The human thorax is of conical figure, somewhat like the frustum of a cone, narrowed above, broad below, of greater width than depth, and in cross-section somewhat cardiform or heart-shaped, from the intrusion of the backbone. Its truncated apex presents to the neck; its concave base is formed by the diaphragm. The cavity is divided into a pair of large pleural cavities, right and left, for the lungs, and a third submedian pericardial cavity for the heart. Where the opposite pleural cavities do not quite meet and fit, both before and behind, is an interpleural space, the anterior and posterior mediastinal cavity, or premediastinum and post-mediastinum. Besides the heart and lungs and their respective serous sacs (pericardium and pleura), the thorax contains many other structures, as the thoracic duct and thoracic aorta, many branches of the latter, etc. The thorax of other mammals differs from that of man chiefly in size, shape, degree of movability, etc., but not in actual structure or office.
    • n thorax In entomology, that part of the body which is situated between the head and the abdomen, and in adult insects alone bears the wings and legs, when there are any. ; In the typical or hexapod insects the thorax is almost always a well-marked region, distinguished from the head in front and from the abdomen behind by bearing the only locomotory appendages which these insects possess in the adult state—namely, one or two pairs of wings and three pairs of legs. The thorax typically consists of three segments or somites of the body, one to each pair of legs, respectively named, from before backward, the prothorax, the mesothorax, and the metathorax, or sometimes the prethorax, medithorax, and post-thorax. The hard crust of each of these segments may and normally does consist of a number of pieces or individual sclerites, on the dorsal or tergal, on the lateral or pleural, and on the ventral or sternal aspects. These sclerites are known as tergites, pleurites, and sternites; they have also other names, and many of the individual sclerites have specific designations. Thus, dorsal sclerites or parts of each segment may be known as pronotum, mesonotum, and metanotum, and so with pleural and sternal sclerites of each thoracic segment. (See sclerite, and cuts under mesothorax and metathorax.) In ordinary descriptive entomology the name thorax has two special restrictions: to the pronotum of coleopterous, hemipterous, and orthopterous insects
    • n thorax In Crustacea and Arachnida, a part of the body in advance of and in any way distinguished from the abdomen or tail, but usually blended with the head to form a cephalothorax. In ordinary arachnidans, as spiders, and in the higher crustaceans, as crabs, lobsters, shrimps, prawns, and crawfishes, several segments of the body are more or less completely fused in one mass; and the limbs are often so gradually metamorphosed into mouth-parts that even these indicia fail to discriminate a thorax from the head in every case. Generally, however, the bearing of eight or ten legs, developed as ambulatory organs, serves to denote a thorax. In many or most of the lower or entomostracous crustaceans a thorax is indistinguishable from the abdomen as well as from the head, and the character of its appendages does not always decide the case. See Decapoda, Tetradecapoda, Thoracipoda, thoracetron.
    • n thorax A breastplate, cuirass, or corselet; more especially, the cuirass or corselet worn by the ancient Greek warriors, corresponding to the lorica of the Romans. It consisted of a breastplate and a backpiece fastened by buckles, and was often richly ornamented.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Thorax thō′raks the part of the body between the neck and belly: the chest
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L., fr. Gr.
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

If pulled out, the head and thorax are often left in the skin.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
Note the strong thorax which is filled with muscles to operate the wings in flight.
"An Elementary Study of Insects" by Leonard Haseman
Then I tucked a double fold of soft flannel above his thorax.
"The Prairie Mother" by Arthur Stringer
Moths and butterflies are pinned through the thorax.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
They sent the transport vessels, but withheld the money which they had promised to Timasion and Thorax.
"The Two Great Retreats of History" by George Grote
Five Sitares are embedded in the fleece of the thorax.
"The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles" by Jean Henri Fabre
I. so it will fit snugly into thorax and tail shells.
"Taxidermy" by Leon Luther Pray
We then opened the Thorax, and found still some Water in the left Cavity.
"An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British military hospitals in Germany" by Donald Monro
Body feathers, both dorsal and ventral, are ruffled, almost tripling the apparent volume of the thorax.
"Natural History of the Bell Vireo, Vireo bellii Audubon" by Jon C. Barlow
A thorax also is sometimes to be distinguished from an abdomen.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 7" by Various

In poetry:

There's a slice near the PICKEREL'S pectoral fins,
Where the thorax leaves off and the venter begins,
Which his brother, survivor of fish-hooks and lines,
Though fond of his family, never declines.
"Verses For After-Dinner" by Oliver Wendell Holmes

In news:

The apple maggot is about the size of a house fly and has distinctive markings on its wings, a white patch on its thorax, and red eyes.
It is located in the thorax.
The newcomer is about a half inch long and has a notably heart shaped middle segment, or thorax.
That is the key message of new British guidelines for asthma management ( Thorax 1997.
To see how well the spiders lived on particular pieces of an ant, the researchers divided 60 of the arachnids into three dining clubs that were given the ants' front end (head, legs and thorax or mid-body), gasters or whole ants.
In some groups of dun skippers , the upperside of their head and thorax may be a yellowish-orange.

In science:

Finite element models of the thorax are being developed to assist engineers and vehicle safety researchers with the design and validation of countermeasures such as advanced restrain systems.
Tensile material properties of human rib cortical bone under quasi-static and dynamic failure loading and influence of the bone microstucture on failure characteristics
Rib fractures are a good indicator of the severity of an impact to the thorax as the protection to the internal organs such as the lungs and the heart is greatly reduced with the increasing number of fractured ribs (abbreviated injury scale, AAAM (2008)).
Tensile material properties of human rib cortical bone under quasi-static and dynamic failure loading and influence of the bone microstucture on failure characteristics
Thorax FE model for older population, in: Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering conference.
Tensile material properties of human rib cortical bone under quasi-static and dynamic failure loading and influence of the bone microstucture on failure characteristics
Development of Adult and Elderly FE Thorax Skeletal Models.
Tensile material properties of human rib cortical bone under quasi-static and dynamic failure loading and influence of the bone microstucture on failure characteristics
Kinematics of the thorax under dynamic belt loading conditions.
Tensile material properties of human rib cortical bone under quasi-static and dynamic failure loading and influence of the bone microstucture on failure characteristics