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Definition of «Sternum»

Sternum: Anatomic name for the breast bone, the long flat bone in the upper middle of the front of the chest.

The sternum articulates (comes together) with the cartilages of the first seven ribs and with the clavicle (collar bone) on either side.

The sternum consists of three parts: the manubrium (the upper segment of the sternum, a flattened, roughly triangular bone), the corpus or body of the sternum, and the xiphoid process (the little tail of the sternum than points down). These sections of the sternum arise as separate bones and later they may fuse partially or completely with one another.

The word "sternum" comes from the Greek "sternon" meaning "the breast or chest." The word "sternum" was once used to refer to the chest but this use was supplanted by the "thorax" and the sternum became the name of the familiar flat bone in the middle of the front of the chest.

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