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[splee-nee-uh s] /ˈspli ni əs/
noun, plural splenii
[splee-nee-nee-ahy] /ˈspli ni niˌaɪ/ (Show IPA).
a broad muscle on each side of the back of the neck and the upper part of the thoracic region, the action of which draws the head backward and assists in turning it to one side.
Origin of splenius
1725-35; < New Latin, for Latin splēnium < Greek splēníon plaster, patch
Related forms
splenial, adjective
subsplenial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for splenius
Historical Examples
  • This latter relation is also found in the ox, but the splenius in this case is but slightly developed.

  • When the splenius contracts it extends the head and neck, while inclining them to its own side.

British Dictionary definitions for splenius


noun (pl) -nii (-nɪˌaɪ)
(anatomy) either of two flat muscles situated at the back of the neck that rotate, flex, and extend the head and neck
Derived Forms
splenial, adjective
Word Origin
C18: via New Latin from Greek splēnion a plaster
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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