thoracic cavity

plural thoracic cavities

Definition of thoracic cavity

: the cavity of the thorax (see thorax sense 1) that is bounded below by the diaphragm, is enclosed by the sternum, ribs, and thoracic vertebrae, and that contains the heart and lungs … an inflammation of the thoracic cavity which feels like a burning stiffness of the muscles …— Harold Brodky

First Known Use of thoracic cavity

1779, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thoracic cavity

Time Traveler for thoracic cavity

Time Traveler

The first known use of thoracic cavity was in 1779

See more words from the same year

Statistics for thoracic cavity

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thoracic cavity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thoracic cavity

thoracic cavity


Medical Definition of thoracic cavity

: the division of the body cavity that lies above the diaphragm, is bounded peripherally by the wall of the chest, and contains the heart and lungs

Comments on thoracic cavity

What made you want to look up thoracic cavity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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