Etymology
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sternum (n.)
"breastbone," 1660s, from Greek sternon "chest, breast, breastbone" (in Homer, only of males), also "the breast as the seat of affections," related to stornynai "to spread out," from PIE *ster-no- "to stretch, extend," from root *stere- "to spread," on the notion of the chest as broad and flat, as opposed to the neck. Related: Sternal.
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sternocleidomastoid (adj.)
medical Latin, from sterno- "sternum," Greek sternon "breast, breastbone," or Latin sternum (see sternum) + Latinized Greek kleis (see clavicle) + mastoid.
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stethoscope (n.)

instrument for examining the chest, 1820, from French stéthoscope, coined 1819 by its inventor, French physician René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781-1826) from Greek stēthos "chest, breast" + -scope. Greek stēthos is perhaps related to sternon (see sternum); it meant "front of the chest," and was only rarely used of a woman's breasts, but in Modern Greek it became the preferred polite term. Related: Stethoscopic; stethoscopy.

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*stere- 
*sterə-, also *ster-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to spread."

It forms all or part of: consternate; consternation; construct; construction; destroy; destruction; industry; instruct; instruction; instrument; obstruct; obstruction; perestroika; prostrate; sternum; sternocleidomastoid; strain (n.2) "race, stock, line;" stratagem; strategy; strath; strato-; stratocracy; stratography; stratosphere; stratum; stratus; straw; stray; street; strew; stroma; structure; substrate; substratum; substructure.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit strnoti "strews, throws down;" Avestan star- "to spread out, stretch out;" Greek stronymi "strew," stroma "bedding, mattress," sternon "breast, breastbone;" Latin sternere "to stretch, extend;" Old Church Slavonic stira, streti "spread," strana "area, region, country;" Russian stroji "order;" Gothic straujan, Old High German strouwen, Old English streowian "to sprinkle, strew;" Old English streon "strain," streaw "straw, that which is scattered;" Old High German stirna "forehead," strala "arrow, lightning bolt;" Old Irish fo-sernaim "spread out," srath "a wide river valley;" Welsh srat "plain."
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breastbone (n.)
"sternum," Old English breostban; see breast (n.) + bone (n.).
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