[ splee-nee-uh s ]
/ ˈspli ni əs /

noun, plural sple·ni·i [splee-nee-nee-ahy] /ˈspli ni niˌaɪ/. Anatomy.

a broad muscle on each side of the back of the neck and the upper part of the thoracic region, the action of which draws the head backward and assists in turning it to one side.

Origin of splenius

1725–35; < New Latin, for Latin splēnium < Greek splēníon plaster, patch


sple·ni·al, adjectivesub·sple·ni·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for splenius

  • When the splenius contracts it extends the head and neck, while inclining them to its own side.

  • This latter relation is also found in the ox, but the splenius in this case is but slightly developed.

British Dictionary definitions for splenius

/ (ˈspliːnɪəs) /

noun plural -nii (-nɪˌaɪ)

anatomy either of two flat muscles situated at the back of the neck that rotate, flex, and extend the head and neck

Derived forms of splenius

splenial, adjective

Word Origin for splenius

C18: via New Latin from Greek splēnion a plaster
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