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[skap-yuh-luh] /ˈskæp yə lə/
noun, plural scapulas, scapulae
[skap-yuh-lee] /ˈskæp yəˌli/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy. either of two flat, triangular bones, each forming the back part of a shoulder in humans; shoulder blade.
Zoology. a dorsal bone of the pectoral girdle.
1570-80; < Latin: shoulder Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for scapula
  • Over this surface, except where covered by the scapula, the individual ribs can be distinguished.
British Dictionary definitions for scapula


noun (pl) -lae (-liː), -las
either of two large flat triangular bones, one on each side of the back part of the shoulder in man Nontechnical name shoulder blade
the corresponding bone in most vertebrates
Word Origin
C16: from Late Latin: shoulder
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scapula

"shoulder blade," 1570s, Modern Latin, from Late Latin scapula "shoulder," from Latin scapulae (plural) "shoulders, shoulder blades," perhaps originally "spades, shovels," on notion of similar shape, but animal shoulder blades might have been used as scraping tools in primitive times, from PIE *skap-, variant of *skep- "to cut, scrape" (see scabies).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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scapula in Medicine

scapula scap·u·la (skāp'yə-lə)
n. pl. scap·u·las or scap·u·lae (-lē')
Either of two large, flat, triangular bones forming the back part of the shoulder. Also called shoulder blade.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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scapula in Science

Plural scapulae (skāp'yə-lē') or scapulas
Either of two flat, triangular bones forming part of the shoulder. In humans and other primates, the scapulae lie on the upper part of the back on either side of the spine. Also called shoulder blade. See more at skeleton.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for scapula

either of two large bones of the shoulder girdle in vertebrates. In humans they are triangular and lie on the upper back between the levels of the second and eighth ribs. A scapula's posterior surface is crossed obliquely by a prominent ridge, the spine, which divides the bone into two concave areas, the supraspinous and infraspinous fossae. The spine and fossae give attachment to muscles that act in rotating the arm. The spine ends in the acromion, a process that articulates with the clavicle, or collarbone, in front and helps form the upper part of the shoulder socket. The lateral apex of the triangle is broadened and presents a shallow cavity, the glenoid cavity, which articulates with the head of the bone of the upper arm, the humerus, to form the shoulder joint. Overhanging the glenoid cavity is a beaklike projection, the coracoid process, which completes the shoulder socket. To the margins of the scapula are attached muscles that aid in moving or fixing the shoulder as demanded by movements of the upper limb.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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