One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A muscle which runs through the rear part of the cheek from the temporal bone to the lower jaw on each side and closes the jaw in chewing.
- ‘There are thirty-two segments devoted to a particular muscle, such as temporalis, masseter, sternocleidomastoid, biceps brachii and so on.’
- ‘Forceful jaw closure is a function of these muscles; the masseter that runs from the cheek bone to the angle of the jaw can easily be felt bulging and hardening when the teeth are clenched.’
- ‘The main muscle used in chewing by rodents is the masseter, and the rodents can be divided into several groups based on exactly how they use these muscles.’
- ‘The jaw adductor muscles, masseter and temporalis, are small and architecturally simple.’
- ‘A case has been reported of displacement of the parotid gland on one side, with the entire gland being located on the masseter muscle.’
Late 16th century: from Greek masētēr, from masasthai ‘to chew’.
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