Definition of digastric in English:


(also digastric muscle)


  • Each of a pair of muscles which run under the jaw and act to open it.

    • ‘Training caused an increase in the activity of citrate synthase and superoxide dismutase in the digastric muscle, the sternohyoid muscle, and the costal diaphragm.’
    • ‘The tip is dissected from the underlying digastric muscle with care to avoid the stylomastoid foramen and facial nerve.’
    • ‘The insertion of the superior belly may overshoot the hyoid bone and attach alongside the digastric.’
    • ‘Accessory slips may join the muscle from the digastric, from the stylomandibular ligament, or the angle of the mandible.’
    • ‘The submandibular glands are located within a triangle bounded by the sternocleidomastoid muscle, the posterior belly of the digastric muscle, and the body of the mandible.’


Late 17th century: from modern Latin digastricus, from di- twice + Greek gastēr belly (because the muscle has two fleshy parts or ‘bellies’ at an angle, connected by a tendon).