ster·​nal ˈstər-nᵊl How to pronounce sternal (audio)
: of or relating to the sternum

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web After taking swabs from mandrill sternal glands, researchers genotyped each sample to determine the monkey's major histocompatibility complex (MHC)--a unique genetic signature related to the animal's immune system. Joseph Calamia, Discover Magazine, 5 Aug. 2010 The sternal head also assists in shoulder adduction. David Otey, Men's Health, 6 Dec. 2022 Among the unusual anatomical traits of the new dinosaur: a small sternal plate. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, 13 Feb. 2019 The coroner's office has officially ruled her death an accident as a result of inhalation and thermal injuries, with a secondary cause of a sternal fracture due to blunt trauma also listed. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 18 Aug. 2022 It is believed that 60-90% of all sternal fractures are caused by crashes, with the occurrence tripling with the use of seatbelts, likely due to deceleration forces, the NLM reported. Joelle Goldstein, Peoplemag, 17 Aug. 2022 Birds with a deep sternal keel fly more slowly, those with long sternums are associated with running birds. Emily Schwing, Scientific American, 11 Feb. 2022 Healthy fawns lie in a sternal position with their front legs tucked under their chest. Cathy M. Rosenthal,, 21 June 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sternal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1756, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sternal was in 1756

Dictionary Entries Near sternal

Cite this Entry

“Sternal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Medical Definition


ster·​nal ˈstərn-ᵊl How to pronounce sternal (audio)
: of or relating to the sternum
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!