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[eyn-l] /ˈeɪn l/
of, pertaining to, involving, or near the anus.
  1. of or relating to the second stage of psychosexual development, during which gratification is derived from the retention or expulsion of feces.
  2. of or relating to an anal character.
  3. of or relating to gratification derived from stimulation of the anus.
Origin of anal
First recorded in 1760-70; an(us) + -al1
Related forms
anally, adverb
postanal, adjective
preanal, adjective
subanal, adjective
Can be confused
anal, annual, annul. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for preanal


of, relating to, or near the anus
  1. relating to a stage of psychosexual development during which the child's interest is concentrated on the anal region and excremental functions
  2. designating personality traits in the adult, such as orderliness, meanness, stubbornness, etc, due to fixation at the anal stage of development Compare genital (sense 2), oral (sense 7), phallic (sense 2)
Derived Forms
anally, adverb
Word Origin
C18: from New Latin ānālis; see anus
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 preanal



1769, from Modern Latin analis "of the anus;" see anus. Anal-retentive first attested 1957, in psychological jargon. Anal sex attested as such from 1966.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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preanal in Medicine

anal a·nal (ā'nəl)

  1. Of, relating to, or near the anus.

  2. Of or relating to the second stage of psychosexual development in psychoanalytic theory, during which gratification is derived from sensations associated with the anus.

  3. Relating to or being personality traits that originated during toilet training and are distinguished as anal-expulsive or anal-retentive.

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