thorax

[thawr-aks, thohr-]
noun, plural thoraxes, thoraces [thawr-uh-seez, thohr-] .
1.
Anatomy. the part of the trunk in humans and higher vertebrates between the neck and the abdomen, containing the cavity, enclosed by the ribs, sternum, and certain vertebrae, in which the heart, lungs, etc., are situated; chest.
2.
Zoology. a corresponding part in other animals.
3.
(in insects) the portion of the body between the head and the abdomen.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English < Latin thōrāx < Greek thṓrāx breastplate, part of body which this covers

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World English Dictionary
thorax (ˈθɔːræks)
 
n , pl thoraxes, thoraces
1.  the part of the human body enclosed by the ribs
2.  the corresponding part in other vertebrates
3.  the part of an insect's body between the head and abdomen, which bears the wings and legs
 
[C16: via Latin from Greek thōrax breastplate, chest]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

thorax
"chest," c.1400, from L. thorax, from Gk. thorax (gen. thorakos) "breastplate, chest," of unknown origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

thorax tho·rax (thôr'āks')
n. pl. tho·rax·es or tho·ra·ces (thôr'ə-sēz')

  1. The part of the human body between the neck and the diaphragm, partially encased by the ribs and containing the heart and lungs; the chest.

  2. A part in other vertebrates that corresponds to the human thorax.

  3. The second or middle region of the body of an arthropod, between the head and the abdomen, in insects bearing the legs and wings.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
thorax   (thôr'āks')  Pronunciation Key 
Plural thoraxes or thoraces (thôr'ə-sēz')
  1. The upper part of the trunk in vertebrate animals. The thorax includes the rib cage, which encloses the heart and lungs. In mammals, the thorax lies above the abdomen and below the neck.

  2. The middle division of the body of an insect, to which the wings and legs are attached. The thorax lies between the head and the abdomen.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
thorax [(thawr-aks)]

The part of the body between the neck and diaphragm; the chest.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

thorax

in amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, the chest. In humans and other mammals the chest is that part of the body between the neck and abdomen. In humans the bony framework of the thorax consists of the 12 thoracic vertebrae, 12 pairs of ribs, and the sternum (breastbone). The mammalian thorax contains the chief organs of respiration and circulation, namely, the lungs, some air passages, the heart, and the great vessels (see thoracic cavity). Below, it is bounded by the diaphragm. The bony framework is encased with muscles, fat, and cutaneous tissues.

Learn more about thorax with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The development of various parts of an insect, such as the thorax or abdomen,
  is controlled by specific genes.
They have a carapace that covers an unsegmented thorax and abdomen.
With a pair of fine-tipped forceps, he grabbed one of the insects at the base
  of its thorax and lifted it off the block.
The actuators power the thorax at mechanical resonance.
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