from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The thin, flat muscle forming the wall of the cheek.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a thin broad muscle forming the wall of the cheek.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A muscle of the cheek; -- so called from its use in blowing wind instruments.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In anatomy, the trumpeter's muscle; a thin flat muscle forming the wall of the cheek, assisting in mastication, and also in blowing wind-instruments (whence its name).
  • n. The specific name of the trumpeter swan of North America, Cygnus buccinator.


Latin buccinātor, trumpeter (from its being the chief muscle used in blowing), from buccinātus, past participle of buccināre, to blow a horn, from būcina, buccina, horn, trumpet; see gwou- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Latin, a trumpeter, from bucinare to sound the trumpet. (Wiktionary)


  • Dave pulls out a drawer labeled Cygnus buccinator and there they are, just as I remembered them, their legs folded up next to their heads, a lamentation of swans.

    The Memory Palace

  • Of special interest are the whooping crane Grus americana (EN), the nationally threatened bald eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus, peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, and trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator.

    Yellowstone National Park, United States

  • A small population of trumpeter swan Olor buccinator, a rare species in Canada, nests on Yohin lake.

    Nahanni National Park Reserve, Canada

  • Other species include marbled murrelet Brachyramphus marmoratus, trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator, and golden eagle Aquila chrysaetos.

    Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, United States

  • Without the help of the epicranius, zygomaticus, triangurlis, quadratus labii, buccinator and platysma, Little Red Riding Hood would have been little more than a silhouette through closed eyelids.

    Muscles Part 2

  • These include trumpeter swan Cygnus buccinator and peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus, both considered vulnerable in Canada.

    Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park, Canada

  • Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, he explained, owed the signature ballooning of his cheeks to the buccinator muscles.

    Body of Knowledge

  • The analogy to Gillespie was apt, he continued, because buccinator is the name of the long trumpets used to herald royalty in the Roman Empire.

    Body of Knowledge

  • Bacon wished to be the buccinator or herald of a new world, and his true greatness consists precisely in this function of his as herald.


  • From above comes the elevator of the angle of the mouth; from the region of the cheek-bone slant downwards the two _zygomatics_, which carry the angle outwards and upwards; from behind comes the _buccinator_, or trumpeter's muscle, which simply widens the mouth by drawing the corners straight outward; from below, the depressor of the angle; not to add a seventh, sometimes well marked, -- the "laughing muscle" of Santorini.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 12, No. 69, July, 1863


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • A thin, flat muscle lining the cheek, the action of which contracts and compresses the cheek.

    I like the etymology: 1665–75; buccin�?tor, būcin�?tor, trumpeter, equiv. to būcin�?(re), to signal on a trumpet (v. deriv. of būcina, curved trumpet or horn) + -tor. :-)

    August 5, 2009