the sternum.

Origin of breastbone

before 1000; Middle English brust-bon, Old English brēostbān. See breast, bone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for breastbone

Historical Examples of breastbone

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

Word Origin and History for breastbone

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

breastbone in Medicine




The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

breastbone in Science



See sternum.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.