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 These include your rhomboids (an upper back muscle that connects your shoulder blades to your rib cage), mid- to lower-trapezius (the muscles across the back of your neck and upper back), and your rear deltoids (the back of your shoulders). Christa Sgobba, SELF, "The Back and Biceps Workout to Help You Stand Up Straight," 18 Oct. 2020 Place the ball at the top of your trapezius, the upper back muscle, and lean into the wall. Kelly Dinardo New York Times, Star Tribune, "A breathtaking workout to improve your breathing," 21 Aug. 2020 This non-electric, sustainable pick is made with beechwood and ergonomically shaped to target different points on the body, including the trapezius and shoulder muscles, as well as the lower back. Braelyn Wood,, "The 12 Best Back Massagers to Soothe Sore Muscles and Alleviate Tension," 1 June 2020 The Half Of It, without much disruption — just some hurts-so-good relief in my trapezius muscles. Karina Hoshikawa,, "Theragun Launched A New Collection — & It’s Better Than Ever," 5 May 2020 Make sure that the trapezius muscles (the muscles of the upper back/neck) are not hunching up towards your ears. Stephanie Mansour, NBC News, "15-minute workouts: This 31-day dumbbell routine will tone and strengthen your entire body," 29 Feb. 2020 Deadlifts already work the posterior chain, or the muscles at the rear of the body like the hamstrings, gluteus maximus, trapezius, posterior deltoids, and erector spinae. Leah Prinzivalli, SELF, "Why the Deficit Deadlift Is a Great Modification for Beginners," 5 Dec. 2018 The shoulder stabilizer muscles, located in the upper back area, include the trapezius, serratus anterior, and the rhomboids. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Shoulders and Core With This Plank Workout From Jennifer Garner’s Trainer," 30 Apr. 2018 Shrugging your shoulders too much will incorrectly stress your trapezius (a major muscle in your upper back and neck). Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "Strengthen Your Shoulders and Core With This Plank Workout From Jennifer Garner’s Trainer," 30 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about trapezius

Time Traveler for trapezius Time Traveler

The first known use of trapezius was circa 1704

See more words from the same year

Statistics for trapezius

Cite this Entry

“Trapezius.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

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
Comments on trapezius

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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