tra·​pe·​zi·​us | \ trə-ˈpē-zē-əs How to pronounce trapezius (audio) , tra- \
plural trapezii\ trə-​ˈpē-​zē-​ˌī How to pronounce trapezius (audio) , tra-​ \ also trapeziuses

Definition of trapezius

: a large flat triangular superficial muscle of each side of the upper back

Examples of trapezius in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web McAvoy’s disturbing body contortions were the result of his work with Lygdback, who similarly helped Skarsgård learn to shape his body so that his trapezius muscles were bulging and defined. Zack Sharf, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 The exercise primarily targets back muscles such as the rhomboids and trapezius and posterior deltoids. Ben Walker, Outside Online, 28 Aug. 2020 The trapezius muscle stabilizes, elevates, depresses, retracts and rotates the scapula (shoulder blade). Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, 26 Jan. 2022 The muscles that support the shoulders, including the rhomboids, trapezius, and deltoids, are a lot smaller than the quads and hamstrings, the big muscles that stabilize the knee joint. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2022 Why Face pulls are a great exercise for working the rear delts, trapezius and upper back muscles, ones which are often neglected and all of which play a pivotal role in good posture and an efficient running technique. Ben Walker, Outside Online, 28 Aug. 2020 Collectively known as the posterior chain, this group of muscles runs from the bottom of the skull to the heels and includes the hamstrings, calves, lats, trapezius and glutes. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 11 Dec. 2021 This drill works core stability while engaging the upper trapezius and neck muscles, and lengthening the spine. Jen Murphy, WSJ, 10 July 2021 Lynn, sidelined since April 17 because of a right trapezius strain, allowed four hits and struck out a season-low two. Sarah Trotto, Star Tribune, 1 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of trapezius

circa 1704, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for trapezius

New Latin, from trapezium; from the pair on the back forming together the figure of a trapezium

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The first known use of trapezius was circa 1704

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Last Updated

3 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trapezius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for trapezius


tra·​pe·​zi·​us | \ trə-ˈpē-zē-əs, tra- How to pronounce trapezius (audio) \
plural trapezii\ -​zē-​ˌī How to pronounce trapezius (audio) \ also trapeziuses

Medical Definition of trapezius

: a large flat triangular superficial muscle of each side of the upper back that arises from the occipital bone, the ligamentum nuchae, and the spinous processes of the last cervical and all the thoracic vertebrae, is inserted into the outer part of the clavicle, the acromion, and the spine of the scapula, and serves chiefly to rotate the scapula so as to present the glenoid cavity upward


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