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[klav-i-kuh l] /ˈklæv ɪ kəl/
noun, Anatomy, Zoology
a bone of the pectoral arch.
(in humans) either of two slender bones, each articulating with the sternum and a scapula and forming the anterior part of a shoulder; collarbone.
Origin of clavicle
1605-15; < Medieval Latin clāvicula collarbone, Latin: tendril, door-bolt, little key, equivalent to clāvi(s) key + -cula -cule1
Related forms
[kluh-vik-yuh-ler] /kləˈvɪk yə lər/ (Show IPA),
[kluh-vik-yuh-leyt] /kləˈvɪk yəˌleɪt/ (Show IPA),
subclavicular, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for clavicle
  • Hill's clavicle bone is rubbing against another bone in his shoulder joint.
  • He cradles his left arm protectively because the pain of a sudden move risks jolting his broken clavicle.
  • He missed his freshman year because of a broken right clavicle.
  • Sewn into a hump of skin and muscle below his right clavicle was the pacemaker that helped his heart outlive his brain.
  • The camera avoids any wet dashiki moments by staying above the clavicle.
  • That's the big blood vessel underneath the clavicle, or collarbone.
  • The clavicle of a four-year-old was treated in that way.
  • The crash left him with a fractured skull, clavicle, ribs and hip.
  • Until recently, clavicle fractures have been treated mainly with a sling or brace and felt to have favorable outcomes.
  • Compare the rates of soft-tissue irritation with two different methods of plating for clavicle fractures.
British Dictionary definitions for clavicle


either of the two bones connecting the shoulder blades with the upper part of the breastbone Nontechnical name collarbone
the corresponding structure in other vertebrates
Derived Forms
clavicular (kləˈvɪkjʊlə) adjective
claviculate (kləˈvɪkjʊˌleɪt) adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin clāvicula, from Latin clāvis key
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 clavicle

"collarbone," 1610s, from Middle French clavicule "collarbone" (16c.), also "small key," from Medieval Latin clavicula "collarbone" (used c.980 in a translation of Avicenna), special use of classical Latin clavicula, literally "small key, bolt," diminutive of clavis "key" (see slot (n.2)); in the anatomical sense a loan-translation of Greek kleis "key, collarbone." So called supposedly from its function as the "fastener" of the shoulder. Related: Clavicular.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clavicle in Medicine

clavicle clav·i·cle (klāv'ĭ-kəl)
Either of two slender bones that extend from the manubrium of the sternum to the acromion of the scapula. Also called collarbone.

cla·vic'u·lar (klə-vĭk'yə-lər) adj.
cla·vic'u·late' (-lāt') adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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clavicle in Science
Either of two slender bones that extend from the upper part of the sternum (breastbone) to the shoulder. Also called collarbone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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