pec·​to·​ra·​lis ˌpek-tə-ˈrā-ləs How to pronounce pectoralis (audio)
plural pectorales -ˌlēz How to pronounce pectoralis (audio)
: either of the muscles that connect the ventral walls of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder of which in humans there are two on each side:
: a larger one that arises from the clavicle, the sternum, the cartilages of most or all of the ribs, and the aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle and is inserted by a strong flat tendon into the posterior bicipital ridge of the humerus

called also pectoralis major

: a smaller one that lies beneath the larger, arises from the third, fourth, and fifth ribs, and is inserted by a flat tendon into the coracoid process of the scapula

called also pectoralis minor

Dictionary Entries Near pectoralis

Cite this Entry

“Pectoralis.” Medical Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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