tra·​pe·​zi·​us trə-ˈpē-zē-əs How to pronounce trapezius (audio)
plural trapezii trə-ˈpē-zē-ˌī How to pronounce trapezius (audio)
also trapeziuses
: a large flat triangular superficial muscle of each side of the upper back

Examples of trapezius in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web These include alleviating neck and shoulder tension, muscles spasms, migraines and trapezius hypertrophy, or enlargement of the traps. USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 On Best Buy View On Dermstore Typing for hours on an airplane tray table can terrorize your trapezius muscles. Ryan Haase, Travel + Leisure, 8 Nov. 2023 As described above, the procedure involves using a needle to inject neurotoxin into the trapezius muscle—two common injection sites, according to Dr. Alexiades, are at the slope of the neck and just before the shoulder. Brian Underwood, Women's Health, 31 Aug. 2023 Patients are asking to have Botox injected in their trapezius muscles, in the hopes of reducing pain and achieving longer-looking necks. Adrienne Matei, WSJ, 29 Aug. 2023 Dermatologists say trapezius Botox, the original name for Barbie Botox, has historically been used in fields like neurology, pain management and orthopedics to treat a host of medical concerns. USA TODAY, 2 Aug. 2023 The technique entails getting a neurotoxin such as Botox (Botulinum toxin) injected into the trapezius muscle. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 22 June 2023 The trapezius is actually composed of three distinct parts, all named based on their position: the superior (a.k.a. upper or descending) trapezius, the middle (a.k.a. transverse) trapezius, and the inferior (a.k.a. ascending or lower) trapezius. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 21 June 2023 Muscles that make up this region: pecs, biceps, triceps, latissimus dorsi (lats), and trapezius (traps). Erin Warwood, Women's Health, 12 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

circa 1704, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trapezius was circa 1704

Dictionary Entries Near trapezius

Cite this Entry

“Trapezius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Medical Definition


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
: 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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