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external intercostal muscle

n.
  1. Any of the muscles with their origin from the lower border of a rib, with insertion into the upper border of the rib below, with nerve supply from the intercostal nerve, and that contract during inspiration and maintain tension in the intercostal spaces to resist mediolateral movement.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.