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2017 Word of the Year

bilateral

[bahy-lat-er-uh l] /baɪˈlæt ər əl/
adjective
1.
pertaining to, involving, or affecting two or both sides, factions, parties, or the like:
a bilateral agreement; bilateral sponsorship.
2.
located on opposite sides of an axis; two-sided, especially when of equal size, value, etc.
3.
Biology. pertaining to the right and left sides of a structure, plane, etc.
4.
Chiefly Law. (of a contract) binding the parties to reciprocal obligations.
5.
through both parents equally:
bilateral affiliation.
Compare unilateral (def 7).
noun
6.
Informal. a bilateral agreement, especially regarding international trade.
Origin of bilateral
1765-1775
First recorded in 1765-75; bi-1 + lateral
Related forms
bilateralism, bilateralness, noun
bilaterally, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bilateral
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This is, in substance, an evasion of the bilateral provision in the constitution.

  • The first three have bilateral, the last has radial symmetry.

    Form and Function E. S. (Edward Stuart) Russell
  • Are not almost all brains a little wanting in bilateral symmetry?

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • In rare instances the eruption has been observed to be bilateral.

    Essentials of Diseases of the Skin

    Henry Weightman Stelwagon
  • This is a bilateral contract, and either may sue the other for a breach.

    Commercial Law

    Samuel Williston, Richard D. Currier, and Richard W. Hill
British Dictionary definitions for bilateral

bilateral

/baɪˈlætərəl/
adjective
1.
having or involving two sides
2.
affecting or undertaken by two parties; mutual: a bilateral treaty
3.
denoting or relating to bilateral symmetry
4.
having identical sides or parts on each side of an axis; symmetrical
5.
(sociol) relating to descent through both maternal and paternal lineage Compare unilateral (sense 5)
6.
(Brit) relating to an education that combines academic and technical courses
7.
a bilateral meeting
Derived Forms
bilaterally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bilateral
adj.

"having two sides," 1775, from bi- + lateral. Related: Bilaterally.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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bilateral in Medicine

bilateral bi·lat·er·al (bī-lāt'ər-əl)
adj.

  1. Having or formed of two sides; two-sided.

  2. Having or marked by bilateral symmetry.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for bilateral

11
14
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