follow Dictionary.com

Submit your word to be a Word of the Day!

pectoral

[pek-ter-uh l] /ˈpɛk tər əl/
adjective
1.
of, in, on, or pertaining to the chest or breast; thoracic.
2.
worn on the breast or chest.
3.
proceeding from the heart or inner consciousness.
4.
Speech. (of a vocal quality) appearing to come from resonance in the chest; full or deep.
5.
of or for diseases of the lungs.
noun
6.
Anatomy. a pectoral part or organ, as a pectoral muscle.
8.
something worn on the breast for ornament, protection, etc., as a breastplate.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; (noun) late Middle English < Latin pectorāle, noun use of neuter of pectorālis of the breast (pector-, stem of pectus breast + -ālis -al1); (adj.) < Latin pectorālis
Related forms
pectorally, adverb
interpectoral, adjective
postpectoral, adjective
prepectoral, adjective
subpectoral, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for pectoral
  • On his left pectoral is a skull with one eyeball dangling from the socket by a cord of veins.
  • He oxygenates the eggs by fanning them with his pectoral fins.
  • They are medium-size sharks, with thick, stout bodies and long pectoral fins.
  • The manta ray is a graceful swimmer, cruising the world's temperate and tropical waters by flapping its large pectoral fins.
  • No trouble identifying this one: a flying fish that was soaring away from a pursuer on long, winglike pectoral fins.
  • She could also rest her head on his warm pectoral, her hand on the third can to the right in his six-pack.
  • We suspect the procedure is related to the pectoral injury he suffered in the season finale.
British Dictionary definitions for pectoral

pectoral

/ˈpɛktərəl/
adjective
1.
of or relating to the chest, breast, or thorax: pectoral fins
2.
worn on the breast or chest: a pectoral medallion
3.
(rare) heartfelt or sincere
noun
4.
a pectoral organ or part, esp a muscle or fin
5.
a medicine or remedy for disorders of the chest or lungs
6.
anything worn on the chest or breast for decoration or protection
Derived Forms
pectorally, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin pectorālis, from pectus breast
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for pectoral
adj.

1570s, "pertaining to the breast," from Latin pectoralis "of the breast," from pectus (genitive pectoris) "breast, chest," from PIE root *peg- "breast."

n.

early 15c., "ornament worn on the breast," from Middle French pectoral and directly from Latin pectorale "breastplate," noun use of neuter of adjective pectoralis (see pectoral (adj.)).

As a shortened form of pectoral muscle, attested from 1758. Slang shortening pec for this is first recorded 1966. Related: Pectorals; pecs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
pectoral in Medicine

pectoral pec·to·ral (pěk'tər-əl)
adj.

  1. Relating to or situated in the breast or chest.

  2. Useful in relieving disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
pectoral in Science
pectoral
  (pěk'tər-əl)   
Located in or attached to the chest, as a pectoral fin or a pectoral muscle.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for pectoral

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for pectoral

12
15
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for pectoral