• synonyms


noun, plural scap·u·las, scap·u·lae [skap-yuh-lee] /ˈskæp yəˌli/.
  1. Anatomy. either of two flat, triangular bones, each forming the back part of a shoulder in humans; shoulder blade.
  2. Zoology. a dorsal bone of the pectoral girdle.
Show More

Origin of scapula

1570–80; < Latin: shoulder
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for scapula

Historical Examples of scapula

  • The scapula and humerus are like those of semijunctus in form.

    The Beaked Whales of the Family Ziphidae

    Frederick True

  • Therefore the corresponding element in Dipnoi must be the scapula.

  • The furcula is large, and the scapula has a well developed acromion.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • The dorsal bone is the ilium and corresponds to the scapula.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • In the Chelonia the scapula and precoracoid are ossified continuously.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for scapula


noun plural -lae (-liː) or -las
  1. either of two large flat triangular bones, one on each side of the back part of the shoulder in manNontechnical name: shoulder blade
  2. the corresponding bone in most vertebrates
Show More

Word Origin for scapula

C16: from Late Latin: shoulder
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 scapula


"shoulder blade," 1570s, Modern Latin, from Late Latin scapula "shoulder," from Latin scapulae (plural) "shoulders, shoulder blades," perhaps originally "spades, shovels," on notion of similar shape, but animal shoulder blades might have been used as scraping tools in primitive times, from PIE *skap-, variant of *skep- "to cut, scrape" (see scabies).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

scapula in Medicine


n. pl. scap•u•las
  1. Either of two large, flat, triangular bones forming the back part of the shoulder.shoulder blade
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

scapula in Science


Plural scapulae (skăpyə-lē′) scapulas
  1. Either of two flat, triangular bones forming part of the shoulder. In humans and other primates, the scapulae lie on the upper part of the back on either side of the spine. Also called shoulder blade See more at skeleton.
Show More
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.