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[brest-bohn] /ˈbrɛstˌboʊn/
the sternum.
before 1000; Middle English brust-bon, Old English brēostbān. See breast, bone1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for breastbone
  • It stretches from the bottom of the breastbone to the belly button, and increases with muscle straining.
  • Or the cancer may have spread to lymph nodes behind the breastbone.
  • Persistent pain from the breastbone cut is unlikely but possible.
  • The breastbone is attached to the collarbone and the first seven ribs.
  • The first cut through the breastbone will avoid damage to the internal organs.
  • They include the bones of the head, vertebral column, ribs and breastbone or sternum.
  • Mckinley was hit in the breastbone and stomach eight days later, he died.
British Dictionary definitions for breastbone


the nontechnical name for sternum
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 breastbone

"sternum," Old English breostban; see breast (n.) + bone (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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breastbone in Medicine

breastbone breast·bone (brěst'bōn')
See sternum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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breastbone in Science
See sternum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for breastbone


in the anatomy of tetrapods (four-limbed vertebrates), elongated bone in the centre of the chest that articulates with and provides support for the clavicles (collarbones) of the shoulder girdle and for the ribs. Its origin in evolution is unclear. A sternum appears in certain salamanders; it is present in most other tetrapods but lacking in legless lizards, snakes, and turtles (in which the shell provides needed support). In birds an enlarged keel develops, to which flight muscles are attached; the sternum of the bat is also keeled as an adaptation for flight

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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