ster·num | \ ˈstər-nəm \
plural sternums or sterna\ˈstər-nə \

Definition of sternum 

: a compound ventral bone or cartilage of most vertebrates other than fishes that connects the ribs or the shoulder girdle or both and in humans consists of the manubrium, gladiolus, and xiphoid process

called also breastbone

Examples of sternum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hadid wrote in a lengthy comment referring to Malik’s tattoo of her eyes underneath his sternum. Colleen Kratofil,, "Gigi Hadid Says Her 'Baby' Zayn Malik Likes Her Sun Spots with Makeup-Free Photo," 10 July 2018 While driving home from a school football game last October, Coulapides was in a single-car accident that severed his spine, fractured his sternum and left him paralyzed from the chest down. Pam Kragen,, "Elite adaptive surfers offer an ocean of possibilities," 29 June 2018 In December 2007, Dwight allegedly struck Connie and fractured her sternum. Michael Kiefer, azcentral, "Scottsdale shooting suspect left divorce full of discord, YouTube channel full of grudges," 4 June 2018 But nothing has stuck with me as intensely or as deeply as an early scene of model/magazine editor/jewelry designer/bare sternum enthusiast Kelly Killoren Bensimon going for a run in front of a cab down the middle of Fifth Avenue. Alison Leiby, The Cut, "I Think About This a Lot: Kelly Bensimon Running Behind a Cab," 9 July 2018 Both girls were sharing a liver, sternum and diaphragm. Sarah Schreiber, Good Housekeeping, "Twin Girls Who Were Conjoined at the Stomach Celebrate 2nd Birthday," 27 Oct. 2016 When the other voices are not enough, Smith pulls a hoarse yell from somewhere near his sternum and lathers out his judgment. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, "Stephen A. Smith Won’t Stop Talking," 16 June 2018 And if your dog has a barrel chest, make sure your dog is on its back before putting one hand over the widest part of their sternum. Korin Miller, SELF, "Katy Perry Says Her Assistant Saved Her Dog With CPR," 7 June 2018 Last week, Bush also apologized for punching his former wife in the sternum and giving her a black eye more than a decade ago. Emma Ockerman And Scott Deveau,, "Athenahealth CEO Bush steps down after misconduct allegations, clearing the way for a sale," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sternum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sternum

1667, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sternum

New Latin, from Greek sternon chest, breastbone; akin to Old High German stirna forehead, Latin sternere to spread out — more at strew

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Statistics for sternum

Last Updated

24 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for sternum

The first known use of sternum was in 1667

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More Definitions for sternum


ster·num | \ ˈstər-nəm \
plural sternums or sterna\-nə \

Kids Definition of sternum


ster·num | \ ˈstər-nəm \
plural sternums or sterna\-nə \

Medical Definition of sternum 

: a compound ventral bone or cartilage that lies in the median central part of the body of most vertebrates above fishes and that in humans is about seven inches (18 centimeters) long, consists in the adult of three parts, and connects with the clavicles and the cartilages of the upper seven pairs of ribs

called also breastbone

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More from Merriam-Webster on sternum

Spanish Central: Translation of sternum

Nglish: Translation of sternum for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sternum

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