Ster·num n.; pl. L. Sterna E. Sternums
1. Anat. A plate of cartilage, or a series of bony or cartilaginous plates or segments, in the median line of the pectoral skeleton of most vertebrates above fishes; the breastbone.
Note: ☞ The sternum is connected with the ribs or the pectorial girdle, or with both. In man it is a flat bone, broad anteriorly, narrowed behind, and connected with the clavicles and the cartilages of the seven anterior pairs of ribs. In most birds it has a high median keel for the attachment of the muscles of the wings.
2. Zool. The ventral part of any one of the somites of an arthropod.
n : a genus of Sterninae [syn: genus Sterna]
n : the flat bone that articulates with the clavicles and the
first seven pairs of ribs [syn: breastbone]
[also: sterna (pl)]