1. Relating to or situated in the breast or chest: a pectoral muscle; the pectoral cavity.
2. Useful in relieving disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.
3. Worn on the chest or breast: a pectoral cross.
1. Any of four muscles that occur in pairs on each side of the chest.
2. A pectoral fin.
3. A medicine for relieving disorders of the chest or respiratory tract.
4. An ornament or decoration worn on the chest.
[Probably Latin pectorālis, from pectus, pector-, breast. N., sense 4, Middle English, from Old French, from Latin pectorāle, breastplate, from neuter of pectorālis.]
(click for a larger image)pectoral
c. 1330 bc pectoral from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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