You searched for: “clavicle
clavicle (s) (noun), clavicles (pl)
1. The bone extending from the breastbone (sternum) at the base of the front of the neck to the shoulder.
2. The long curved bones that connect the upper part of the breastbone with the shoulder blade at the top of each shoulder in humans: "The two clavicles join the top of the sternum (breastbone) to the shoulders and help support the arms."
3. A bone or structure with a function similar to that of the human clavicle in some other animals.

It is reduced or absent in many mammals.

4. Etymology: from Latin clavicula, "small key".

The Collar Bone Known as the Clavicle

There are two bones, each slightly curved like an "f" which join the top of the sternum (breastbone) to the scapula (shoulder blade).

  • The clavicles support the arms and transmit physical forces from the arms to the central skeleton.
  • The ligaments which link the clavicle to the sternum and scapula are considered to be strong and this explains why the clavicle is usually not dislocated; however, it is often broken.
  • Most fractures take place because of a fall on the shoulder or on an outstretched arm.
  • —Compiled from information located in
    The American Medical Association Home Medical Encyclopedia,
    Medical Editor, Charles B. Clayman, MD; Random House;
    New York; 1989; page 283.
    This entry is located in the following units: clavi-, clav- (page 1) -cle + (page 1)
    (Greek: key; a means of locking or a thing that locks [or unlocks] a door; a key, bar, or hook; a combining form that denotes the clavicle or collarbone)