Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[brest-bohn] /ˈbrɛstˌboʊn/
the sternum.
Origin of breastbone
before 1000; Middle English brust-bon, Old English brēostbān. See breast, bone Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for breastbone
Historical Examples
  • So identified he was with Judas that he felt at times as if his breastbone was bursting.


    James Anthony Froude
  • I've 'eard o' men dying when you 'it 'em fair on the breastbone.

    Soldiers Three, Part II. Rudyard Kipling
  • He hit Ling on the lower end of the breastbone, where his belly would be softest.

    The Devil's Asteroid Manly Wade Wellman
  • The brisket is the part formed by the breastbone, and is the lower part of the chest.

    The Horsewoman Alice M. Hayes
  • He drove it upward just below the breastbone, striking the heart.

  • Then lay them on a board and roll with a rolling-pin to flatten the breastbone.

    Housekeeping in Old Virginia Marion Cabell Tyree
  • For answer Tom Rochford pressed his hand to his breastbone and hiccupped.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • The rib cage includes the breastbone and twelve pairs of ribs.

    Physiology Ernest G. Martin
  • He tapped his breastbone with his middle finger to indicate his essential self.

    Kipps H. G. Wells
  • To judge the age of a chicken, touch the end of the breastbone.

    The Century Cook Book Mary Ronald
British Dictionary definitions for breastbone


the nontechnical name for sternum
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 breastbone

"sternum," Old English breostban; see breast (n.) + bone (n.).

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

breastbone breast·bone (brěst'bōn')
See sternum.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
breastbone in Science
See sternum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for breastbone

Difficulty index for breastbone

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for breastbone

Scrabble Words With Friends