tri·​ceps ˈtrī-ˌseps How to pronounce triceps (audio)
plural triceps
: a muscle that arises from three heads
especially : the large extensor muscle along the back of the upper arm

Examples of triceps in a Sentence

He felt a pain in his right triceps.
Recent Examples on the Web The overhead triceps extension works the triceps and lower back. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 18 Oct. 2022 Contrast that to an isolation exercise like a biceps curl or a triceps extension, which involves movement only at the elbow joint to target your upper arms. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 3 Jan. 2024 Two starting Kansas City defenders, safety Mike Edwards and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, did not practice because of a concussion and a triceps injury, respectively. Childs Walker, Baltimore Sun, 24 Jan. 2024 Throw in a traditional triceps kickback to push that activation to the max. Michelle Marques, Women's Health, 7 Aug. 2023 The Rangers announced that Scherzer suffered a right triceps spasm. Evan Grant, Dallas News, 13 Sep. 2023 Additionally, dumbbell pullovers work your triceps (the muscles on the backsides of your upper arms), deltoids (shoulders), and serratus anterior (a muscle along the rib cage that stabilizes your shoulders). Jenny McCoy, SELF, 18 Oct. 2023 Similarly, with a chest press, your pectoral muscles may be doing most of the work, but your triceps are helping it along too. Jenny McCoy, SELF, 20 Sep. 2023 Tattooed on his right triceps is an excerpt from the etchings on the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes’ plaque—another 1970s attempt by Earth scientists to introduce our species to any space aliens that might encounter the craft. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, 3 Aug. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'triceps.' 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 tricipit-, triceps, from Latin, three-headed, from tri- + capit-, caput head — more at head

First Known Use

1676, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of triceps was in 1676

Dictionary Entries Near triceps

Cite this Entry

“Triceps.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


tri·​ceps ˈtrī-ˌseps How to pronounce triceps (audio)
plural triceps
: a large muscle along the back of the upper arm that is attached at its upper end by three main parts and that acts to extend the arm at the elbow joint

Medical Definition


tri·​ceps ˈtrī-ˌseps How to pronounce triceps (audio)
plural triceps also tricepses
: a muscle that arises from three heads:
: the large extensor muscle that is situated along the back of the upper arm, arises by the long head from the infraglenoid tubercle of the scapula and by two heads from the shaft of the humerus, is inserted into the olecranon at the elbow, and extends the forearm at the elbow joint

called also triceps brachii

: the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles viewed as constituting together one muscle

called also triceps surae

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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