Definition of levator in English:


(also levator muscle)


  • A muscle whose contraction causes the raising of a part of the body.

    ‘the principal levators of the wing’
    followed by Latin genitive ‘levator scapulae’
    • ‘Extra levator costae muscles may be associated with these ribs.’
    • ‘Research by Arat indicates the first two muscles affected by an over-loaded limbic system are the levator scapula and upper trapezius.’
    • ‘In the shoulder girdle, the serratus anterior, upper and lower trapezius, levator scapulae and rhomboid muscles are involved.’
    • ‘With the upper trapezius, the levator scapula lifts your shoulder blades.’
    • ‘The levator veli palatini muscle, which elevates the soft palate, is innervated by a pharyngeal branch of the vagus nerve.’


Early 17th century: from Latin, literally ‘a person who lifts’, from levare ‘raise, lift’.