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[pek-tuh-ral-is, -rey-lis, -rah-] /ˌpɛk təˈræl ɪs, -ˈreɪ lɪs, -ˈrɑ-/
noun, plural pectorales
[pek-tuh-ral-eez, -rey-leez, -rah-] /ˌpɛk təˈræl iz, -ˈreɪ liz, -ˈrɑ-/ (Show IPA).
either of two muscles on each side of the upper and anterior part of the thorax, the action of the larger (pectoralis major) assisting in drawing the shoulder forward and rotating the arm inward, and the action of the smaller (pectoralis minor) assisting in drawing the shoulder downward and forward.
Origin of pectoralis
< Latin pectorālis; see pectoral Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pectoralis major
Historical Examples
  • The clavicular portion of the pectoralis major must then be divided right across its fibres, which will retract.

  • A great, fan-shaped muscle, called the pectoralis major, lies on the chest.

    A Practical Physiology Albert F. Blaisdell
  • The bolus consisted of a portion of the pectoralis major of a subject brought to the dissecting-room at the Middlesex Hospital.

    Parasites T. Spencer Cobbold

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