Definition of latissimus in English:


(also latissimus dorsi)


  • Either of a pair of large, roughly triangular muscles covering the lower part of the back, extending from the sacral, lumbar, and lower thoracic vertebrae to the armpits.

    • ‘My rheumatologist thought I might have torn muscle fibers in the latissimus dorsi and tried an injection of triamcinolone.’
    • ‘Subjects with greater imbalance of muscle stiffness such as latissimus dorsi or trapezius had significantly higher neuroticism and psychoticism scores than did those with lower imbalance.’
    • ‘Accessory slips may join the deltoid with infraspinatus, latissimus dorsi, or even teres major.’
    • ‘We measured right and left sides of 4 muscles - sternocleidomastoideus, trapezius, latissimus dorsi, and rectus abdominis - 3 times and averaged the value for each muscle.’
    • ‘Abdominal muscles, the latissimus dorsi (running down your sides), as well as the lower back are also engaged when fencing, which in time will enhance your posture and waistline.’


Early 17th century: modern Latin, from musculus latissimus dorsi, literally broadest muscle of the back.