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semispinal muscle of head

(sĕm′ē-spīnəl, sĕm′ī-)
n.
  1. A muscle with origin from the five or six upper thoracic vertebrae and the four lower cervical vertebrae, with insertion into the occipital bone, with nerve supply from the dorsal branches of the cervical nerve, and whose action rotates the head and draws it backward.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.