One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of two pairs of muscles attached to the vertebrae in the neck and upper back that draw back the head.
- ‘The patient underwent magnetic resonance imaging with contrast, which showed the mass to be well circumscribed and located between the right splenius and semispinalis cervicis muscles.’
- ‘Atlantomastoideus may also have a connection with splenius capitis, a union more difficult to explain embryologically.’
- ‘Rhomboideus-occipitalis passes between trapezius and splenius to reach the occipital bone.’
- ‘Attached to the mastoid process are the mm. sternocleidomastoideus, splenius capitis, and longissimus capitis.’
- ‘The splenius represents a superficial prolongation of the lateral column of muscle to the head.’
Mid 18th century: modern Latin, from Greek splēnion ‘bandage’.
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