Definition of clavicle in US English:



  • technical term for collarbone
    • ‘When all support is disrupted or detached, the distal clavicle loses all ligamentous connection, allowing it to rise superiorly.’
    • ‘During surgery, we observed partial or complete detachment of the trapezoid and deltoid muscles from the lateral clavicle in all patients.’
    • ‘The shoulder girdle is formed by the scapulae (shoulder blades) and clavicles (collar bones).’
    • ‘The clavicle and scapula together form the shoulder girdle.’
    • ‘There is nothing you can do to alter your clavicles or hip bones, so you need to focus on widening your delts and upper lats.’


Early 17th century: from Latin clavicula ‘small key’, diminutive of clavis (because of its shape).