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a muscle of the upper back, above and parallel to the rhomboideus major. It arises from the nuchal ligament and from the spinous processes of the seventh cervical and first thoracic vertebrae. It inserts into the upper part of the medial border at the root of the spine of the scapula. With the rhomboideus major, it acts to draw the scapula toward the vertebral column while supporting the scapula and drawing it slightly upward. Compare latissimus dorsi, levator scapulae, rhomboideus major, trapezius.